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Making A Killing: The Creators of Burke & Hare Talk New Opera
Sunday, November 5, 2017 | 2:00 – 3:00PM

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston | Koch Gallery
Tickets: $16 members and BLO subscribers / $20 Nonmembers
Tickets are available now at MFA.org.
For additional event information, call 617.542.6772 or email events@blo.org.

WBUR Senior Producer Louise Kennedy sits down with composer Julian Grant and librettist Mark Campbell to discuss their inspirations, writing process, and the vibrancy and urgency of opera in the 21st century. Their new opera, The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, is a highly theatrical and often brutally funny exploration of greed, morality and medicine—and select cast members join us at the MFA for preview performances from the work. Based on an historical event, the opera depicts the infamous ten-month killing spree of William Burke and William Hare in 1828. Boston Lyric Opera gives the opera its world premiere on November 8.

The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare performs November 8 – 12 at the Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts.


Image: Costume renderings for the characters of Hare and Margaret by designer Nancy Leary.


Museum of Fine Arts - Boston
Signature Series - Boston Lyric Opera

2017/18 Signature Series Sponsor:
Linda Cabot Black

Julian Grant

Julian Grant is a composer, writer, educator, music journalist, and broadcaster. Born in London, he has lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo, and currently is based in Princeton and New York City. Grant has composed 18 operas, which have been performed by English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Almeida Opera, Mecklenburgh Opera, and Tétè-a-Tétè. The Skin Drum (1988) won the National Opera Association of America’s New Opera prize, and Out of Season (1991) was nominated for an Olivier Award. He composed Hot House (2012), a dance-opera commission for the London Olympics at the Royal Opera House. Grant’s collected songs, and a collection of his piano works, Shivereens, were recently published. His other works include Great Game for orchestra, Off Course for piano and ensemble, and a host of chamber pieces. He writes extensively on opera, Russian and contemporary music for many journals.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell’s work as a librettist is at the forefront of the current contemporary opera scene in this country. He has written more than 16 opera librettos, the best-known being Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Other successful operas include As One, Later the Same Evening, Volpone, The Inspector, Bastianello/Lucrezia, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Shining. Mr. Campbell’s other awards include a Grammy nomination, the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards, a Larson Foundation Award, a NYFA Playwriting Fellowship, two NYSCA grants and the first Dominic J. Pelliciotti Award. He premiered six new operas in 2017, including Some Light Emerges (Houston Grand Opera), Dinner At Eight (Minnesota Opera) The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Santa Fe Opera) and Elizabeth Cree (Opera Philadelphia). www.markcampbellwords.com

Louise Kennedy works with The ARTery to broaden and deepen WBUR’s connections with artists, audiences and arts organizations in Boston and beyond. Previously, Louise launched and led Edify, WBUR’s new home for coverage on all media platforms, whether on air, online or in person, about education and learning at all stages of life. Louise joined WBUR in 2012 as director of community engagement, overseeing WBUR’s live events and other direct, local forms of connecting with our audience. Before joining WBUR, Louise was a longtime editor and writer at The Boston Globe, most recently as theater critic.