Music by Poul Ruders
Libretto by Paul Bentley
Sung in English

Please note due to the nature of this production, any patrons who arrive after the start of the show may not be able to access their ticketed seats and any patrons who get up during the performance will not be able to return to their original seat until after the intermission. Alternative seating will be provided.


SUN 5 | 3:00 PM
WED 8 | 7:30 PM
FRI 10 | 7:30 PM
SUN 12 | 3:00 PM


Bear witness to the story of Offred: one woman of many stripped of her name, identity, and personhood by a cruel and oppressive government regime. Offred desperately preserves her story, a simple act of defiance and resistance as dangerous as it is riveting. Margaret Atwood’s extraordinary, important novel—set in Boston and Cambridge—becomes one of BLO’s largest-ever productions, directed by theater icon Anne Bogart with a hypnotic, evocative score that bends the tenets of traditional opera and leaves audiences breathless.
First performances of a new edition by the composer, commissioned by Boston Lyric Opera

The Handmaid’s Tale contains scenes of violence, misogyny, and sexual assault. In order to help you best prepare for the opera, please note that this synopsis contains plot details and events.

2021 AD. After a series of disasters causes environmental ruin and widespread infertility, the United States has been taken over by an extremist Christian sect and reborn as the Republic of Gilead, where women have been returned to their “rightful” place in society. They are prohibited from holding property or working and are divided into a strict class system: Aunts are in charge of re-education and the enforcement of social codes, Marthas work as cooks and housekeepers, Wives are the property of elite men, and Handmaids are women designated to bear the children of the leaders of Gilead.
continue reading…

also read about BLO’s 2019 Community Partnerships
with BARCC and Casa Myrna…

Conductor David Angus
Stage Director Anne Bogart
Set & Costume Designer James Schuette
Lighting Designer Brian Scott
Sound Designer J Jumbelic
Movement Director Shura Baryshnikov

Jennifer Johnson Cano as Offred, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Boston Lyric Opera, MAY 5–12 | 2019
Jennifer Johnson Cano as Offred
Caroline Worra as Aunt Lydia, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Boston Lyric Opera, MAY 5–12 | 2019
Caroline Worra as Aunt Lydia
Maria Zifchak as Serena Joy, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Boston Lyric Opera, MAY 5–12 | 2019
Maria Zifchak as Serena Joy
Matthew DiBattista as The Doctor, THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Boston Lyric Opera, MAY 5–12 | 2019
Matthew DiBattista as The Doctor

With Dana Beth Miller, David Cushing, Michelle Trainor, Jesse Darden, Kathryn Skemp Moran, Chelsea Basler, Felicia Gavilanes, Vera Savage, Lynn Torgove, Omar Najmi

Harvard University Ray Lavietes Pavilion

65 North Harvard Street, Boston

Harvard University Ray Lavietes Pavilion

Harvard’s refurbished and rededicated arena for men’s and women’s basketball – The Ray ’36 and Estelle Lavietes Pavilion, formerly called the Briggs Athletic Center – stands among the most historic venues in the sport. The facility underwent multiphase renovation in recent years, completing its transformation prior to the 2017-18 season.

Directions and Parking

The Lavietes Pavilion can accommodate both wheelchair and companion seating. Restrooms are located on the main level. Assisted listening devices are available at the box office.

A self-serve coat check will be available.

Concessions will be available for purchase.

This is not a Harvard University event and is not controlled, presented, or supervised by Harvard University or any of its schools or programs.