SCHOENBERG IN HOLLYWOOD | NOV 14-182018-09-17T13:17:56+00:00


An Opera by Tod Machover
Music by Tod Machover
Libretto by Simon Robson
Based on a Scenario by Braham Murray
Commissioned by Boston Lyric Opera
Sung in English


WED 14 | 7:30 PM
THU 15 | 7:30 PM
SAT 17 | 7:30 PM
SUN 18 | 3:00 PM


The brilliant composer Arnold Schoenberg fled the darkness and despair of Hitler’s Europe and found himself in 1930s Hollywood—a bold, new world of golden sunshine and camera-ready beauty. Can he find a way to reconcile reflection with action, and tradition with revolution? What is the meaning of art in the wake of atrocity?
In this World Premiere from BLO’s New Works Initiative, internationally acclaimed composer Tod Machover, based in Boston, along with librettist Simon Robson, explores a great artist’s personal struggle, finding humor, heroism, and—ultimately—hope.

Conductor David Angus
Stage Director Karole Armitage
Original Production Concept Braham Murray (1943–2018)
Set Designer Simon Higlett
Costume Designer Nancy Leary
Lighting Designer Pablo Santiago
Media and Projection Designer Peter Torpey
Sound Designer Ben Bloomberg

Omar Ebrahim as Schoenberg, SCHOENBERG IN HOLLYWOOD, Boston Lyric Opera, 2018
Omar Ebrahim as Schoenberg
Sara Womble as Girl, SCHOENBERG IN HOLLYWOOD, Boston Lyric Opera, 2018

BLO Emerging Artist alumna

Sara Womble as Girl
Jesse Darden as Boy, SCHOENBERG IN HOLLYWOOD, Boston Lyric Opera, 2018

BLO’s first-ever principal artist-in-residence

Jesse Darden as Boy

Both Sara Womble and  Jesse Darden round out the cast by playing multiple additional characters.

Meet the Creators


Called “America’s most wired composer” by The Los Angeles Times and a “musical visionary” by The New York Times, Tod Machover is recognized as one of the most innovative composers active today, and he is celebrated for inventing new technologies that expand music’s potential for everyone, from celebrated virtuosi to musicians of all abilities. Machover studied with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School and was the first Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM in Paris. He is Academic Head of the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge USA), where he is also Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media, and Director of the Opera of the Future Group. Machover is also Visiting Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Visiting Professor of Composition at the Curtis Institute of Music. Machover is particularly known for his critically acclaimed, award-winning operas, from the Tolstoy-inspired Resurrection to the “robotic” Death and the Powers, and for his collaborative City Symphonies that “have rethought the symphony as a community event” (Mark Swed, Musical America).


Simon Robson studied Politics and Philosophy at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge and Acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. His first play The Ghost Train Tattoo was premiered at the Royal Exchange in 2001, and his collection of short stories The Separate Heart was published in 2004 and short-listed for the prestigious Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. His first novel Catch appeared in 2010. Both are published by Jonathan Cape. Since then, he has adapted Purcell’s The Indian Queen for Les Arts Florissants and written the narration for Carolyn Samson’s Marie Fel concerts with Ex Cathedra. His most recent commission was to both curate and perform a concert of Shakespeare songs and speeches with Anne-Sofie von Otter and Julius Drake for the Oxford Lieder festival. He has just completed work on his second novel.


Braham Murray was a Founding Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre Company for whom he directed over 70 productions. The final one was Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with The Halle Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the pit. In 1964, his Oxford production of Hang Down Your Head and Die transferred to the West End and Broadway. From the Century Theatre, where he was Artistic Director, he became a Founding Director of the ‘69 Theatre Company; credits include She Stoops to Conquer and Charley’s Aunt (with Tom Courtenay) and Mary Rose (with Mia Farrow).


A Tribute
to Director
Braham Murray

Braham Murray, the director of Schoenberg in Hollywood’s World Premiere production died suddenly at age 75. Murray devoted most of his working life to the Manchester Royal Exchange, which he established in 1976 with fellow directors Michael Elliott and Casper Wrede. He was the longest serving artistic director and did not retire officially until 2012.

We recognize and thank director Braham Murray for his work on Schoenberg in Hollywood, an opera he called “wonderfully complex” and “thrilling.” Our sincerest condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues.

Emerson/Paramount Center

559 Washington Street, Boston

Emerson/Paramount Center | ROBERT J. ORCHARD STAGE

Originally a 1930s cinema palace, the Robert J. Orchard Stage had closed in 1976 and fallen into disrepair by the time Emerson College purchased the building in 2005. Enchantingly restored in lively Art Deco style, the newly reopened Paramount Center’s largest facility is a 596-seat theatre (see in 360º view) with a brand new stage and orchestra pit. As the newest attraction in Boston’s Theatre District, the Robert J. Orchard Stage evokes the thrill of American cinema’s Golden Age while hosting world-class performing artists.

Directions and Parking
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre | SCHOENBERG IN HOLLYWOOD | NOV 14-18 | Boston Lyric Opera

Seating is divided into two levels: Orchestra and Balcony.
The Balcony is accessible by stairs in the main lobby and elevator access to the back of the balcony

There is elevator access to the balcony
Restrooms are located in the lower lobby, and second floor, which is accessible by elevator.
Listening devices are available at the box office windows in the lobby.

There is no coat check available at the Paramount Center

Concessions will be available for purchase.

A sneak peek at Schoenberg in Hollywood from Media and Projection Designer, Peter Torpey