The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare

Music by Julian Grant | Libretto by Mark Campbell
A World Premiere commissioned by Music-Theatre Group with the support of Boston Lyric Opera
Sung in English with English Surtitles

WED | NOV 8 | 7:30PM
THU | NOV 9 | 7:30PM
SUN | NOV 12 | 12:00PM
SUN | NOV 12 | 4:00PM


Edinburgh, 1828. The city’s world-renowned anatomy schools suffer from a cadaver shortage. Two industrious men—William Burke and William Hare—find lucrative work by murdering disenfranchised citizens and selling their corpses to Dr. Knox’s academy. Brutally funny and highly theatrical, irreverent and fast-paced, this chamber opera is based on real events.

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The BURKE & HARE Reviews are In!

Quite bloody good!
-Boston Globe

Tight, compact, very compelling!…Peels back the layers of moral ambiguity with surgical precision….The staging, the singing…everything is beautiful!

A slick and darkly humorous tale…visually appealing [with] excellent singing…Grant’s musical textures bathe the opera in darkness [with] moments of soaring lyricism…The orchestra, led by David Angus, found the bold colors and sly humor laced in Grant’s score.
-Boston Classical Review

Boston Lyric Opera’s most inventive and beautifully constructed new work in years….A large dramatic score…a witty, thoughtful libretto [with] a fascinating narrative and scathing lyrics….A visually arresting scenic design….David Angus’s excellent chamber orchestra projected many beautiful motives and melodies that slowly deconstruct, dissolve, and float apart.
-Boston Musical Intelligencer

You’re in for an unusual operatic and theatrical experience!…The performances are truly impressive…singing, acting and movement of the highest order….A taut musical thriller…a challenging yet satisfying example of enjoyable contemporary opera….One knows, when Boston Lyric Opera schedules a production in a venue such as the Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts (with Set Designer Caleb Wertenbaker strongly suggesting a pure white operatory), you’re in for an unusual operatic and theatrical experience.
-South Shore Critic

A dark and comic modern opera [with a] chilling effect….A powerful physical staging….“Daft Jamie” is lovingly and touchingly played by tenor Michael Slattery….Legendary soprano Marie McLaughlin is a standout. The power of her angry voice and range reaches the stern and damning effect….William Burden plays Dr. Knox with great Machiavellian arrogance and calculating coldness…his booming tenor soars….Conductor David Angus helmed the proceedings brilliantly, punctuating the grim moments and setting impassioned tones for the various victims….So be sure to catch one of the remaining performances and enjoy every gory detail.

Absolutely stunning…brilliantly adapted….A highly engaging story and darkly funny chamber opera
-Boston and Beyond

Production Photos

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