The Turmoil of Thatcher’s London

By | 2016-11-16T01:22:13+00:00 November 14th, 2016|

Greek, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 1988 operatic setting of the Oedipus story, is set in the gritty, seething political turmoil of 1980s London: the era of Thatcherism, of extreme political and social changes, and of artistic and cultural revolt. The prosperity and triumph of capitalism that marked Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister from 1979-1990 were not without cost or controversy—especially in the arts.

HIGH NOTES: More trips down Oedipus lane

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:18+00:00 November 4th, 2016|

Night Journey is a 1947 Martha Graham ballet performed to a harsh, dramatic score by William Schuman, with costumes by Graham and sets by her longtime collaborator, the sculptor Isamu Noguchi. She noted that “the action takes place in Jocasta’s heart at the instant when she recognizes the ultimate terms of her destiny.” Commissioned by the philanthropist Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, Night Journey had its premiere (oddly) at Cambridge High School outside Boston.

HIGH NOTES: And so it begins…

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:19+00:00 October 27th, 2016|

BLO is moving into high gear with its upcoming production of the vivid, disturbing and highly theatrical opera Greek, by Mark-Anthony Turnage. Rehearsal have just started, sets are being built, costumes fitted…all in preparation for a November 16th opening.

HIGH FIVE: Get to Know Greek in 5 Minutes or Less

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:19+00:00 October 21st, 2016|

Greek is not only a reworking of the famed Greek tragedy, but also an adaptation of a 1979 play by Steven Berkoff. By setting Sophocles’ work in contemporary London, Berkoff offered a pointed commentary on the state of Britain in the late 1970s. For his part, Turnage has stated that his political sensibilities, which paralleled Berkoff’s, informed his interest in adapting this work for the operatic stage.

The 40 Seasons of Boston Lyric Opera: A History Part VI

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:19+00:00 September 29th, 2016|

At the end of Part V, Esther Nelson had assembled her leadership team, committed the Company to bold and thoughtful artistic choices, and reinstated a fourth production through the launch of Opera Annex, which quickly became a highly anticipated annual presentation in a nontraditional or found space.

The 40 Seasons of Boston Lyric Opera: A History Part V

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:24+00:00 September 20th, 2016|

Each week during 40 Days of Opera, check back on the BLO blog for a new installment of this in-depth history of BLO!

At the end of Part IV, BLO was facing major, existential questions at the end of Janice Mancini Del Sesto’s term of leadership. What sort of vision would the next General Director bring to Boston Lyric Opera? What sort of institution would BLO be after the new leadership team was in place?

The 40 Seasons of Boston Lyric Opera: A History Part IV

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:24+00:00 September 12th, 2016|

Each week during 40 Days of Opera, check back on the BLO blog for a new installment of this in-depth history of BLO!

Part III surveyed the growth and development of BLO under the leadership of Janice Mancini Del Sesto. But the rapid and steady growth of the 1990s could not be sustained indefinitely—read on for more about BLO in the beginning of the 21st century.

The Art of the Bullfight

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:24+00:00 September 5th, 2016|

If you want a more complete picture of Spanish culture, study bullfighting. Famous writers of various nationalities have eloquently expressed that sentiment from Federico García Lorca to Ernest Hemingway, most notably in the American author’s Death in the Afternoon. “It is impossible to believe the emotional and spiritual intensity and the pure, classic beauty that can be produced by a man, an animal and a piece of scarlet serge,” Hemingway wrote in 1932.

The 40 Seasons of Boston Lyric Opera: A History Part II

By | 2016-11-05T07:08:24+00:00 September 1st, 2016|

Each week during 40 Days of Opera, check back on the BLO blog for a new installment of this in-depth history of BLO!

At the end of Part I, Anne Ewers was named General Director of Boston Lyric Opera amidst extremely challenging conditions – producing Wagner’s four-part Ring cycle had left BLO on the brink of financial collapse, with orchestra members refusing to play until their debts were paid.