The World Premiere of Benjamin Britten’s opera The Rape of Lucretia took place in 1946, almost a decade before David Angus was born. The composer died in 1976 when Angus was only 20, so the conductor of Boston Lyric Opera’s current production of Lucretia is too young to have become a member of Britten’s immediate circle of friends and interpreters. But as member of the King’s College (Cambridge) Choir, he did sing under Britten’s baton in a 1970 concert in Snape Maltings, the auditorium of the composer’s summer festival on the northeast coast of England. Only a year earlier, Snape Maltings had been destroyed by fire, and the work that reopened the hall and the festival in 1970was Britten’s vernal “Spring” Symphony, which remains a favorite of Angus’s – and at the drop of a hat he can still sing lilting lines from the boys’ choruses. “It was a great experience for all of us – as choirboys we sang every day, and music became our language.”
When crisis hit Boston Lyric Opera, Karole Armitage did not need to step forward as a first responder – she was already on the scene and involved in the Company’s forthcoming World Premiere production of Tod Machover’s Schoenberg in Hollywood.
In January, 1816, Gioacchino Rossini was up against a wall, and the person who put him there was himself. At the end of 1815, the composer was in Rome for the premiere of his opera Torvaldo e Dorliska which opened the day after Christmas. In the midst of the rehearsals and performances, the director of Rome’s Teatro Argentina asked him on very short notice to compose a new opera for carnival season in February.
She did it on a dare. Last year the mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack was in Washington, D. C., to sing the role of Bradamante in Handel’s opera Alcina. The conductor Jane Glover asked her if she thought she could sing a fearsomely long 72-note phrase in one of the arias on one breath. So Mack went away to a practice room one morning, chugged some coffee, and sailed right through it in front of a mic and video camera. She said there wasn’t much chance she could do it onstage in costume and moving around, but she would work on it.
As far as Google can tell, Claude Heater is the only member of the original cast of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti who is still alive. Back in 1952, Heater was the baritone in the vocal trio that breezily comments on the action and functions as a kind of Greek Chorus.
Leonard Bernstein often complained that he never had enough time to compose the music he wanted to—he was always too busy—but the list of works he did complete is long, and nearly all of the best of it is vocal music. The range of musical styles he worked in is extraordinarily wide—he knew everything there is to know about the standard repertory and about thousands of other works—but the range of subjects he engaged with is comparatively narrow, and all of the subjects came out of his own life: love, family, and all the various ties that bind.
Next Season, Boston Lyric Opera will again journey to four different performance venues, but the Company remains committed to strongly theatrical productions of meaningful works—three contrasting 20th-century operas and the World Premiere of an opera from the 21st century.
Last Season Cucchi’s direction of Puccini’s La Boheme for Boston Lyric Opera proved so successful that the Company invited her back to produce Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro this year. During a pause in preparations last week, Cucchi sat down in the break room in the rehearsal space in the Boston Center for the Arts to talk
Jane Eaglen made her American debut with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in the Hatch Memorial Shell on July 3 and 4, 1992. The soprano had been singing professionally in her native Britain for eight years and stood on the cusp of what turned out to be a major international career. Jane Eaglen made her American debut with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in the Hatch Memorial Shell on July 3 and 4, 1992. The soprano had been singing professionally in her native Britain for eight years and stood on the cusp of what ...
The man to talk to about in the second half of Boston Lyric Opera's 2016/17 Season is David Cushing. The New Hampshire-born bass-baritone is the only soloist who will appear in both of the remaining productions, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.