THE RAKE’S PROGRESS
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman
Sung in English with English surtitles
With its beautiful arias contrasted with episodes of high drama and low comedy, The Rake’s Progress reveals Stravinsky’s very personal take on the neo-classical style during a turning point in the composer’s career. Now, in this theatrically vivid staging by A.R.T. Resident Director Allegra Libonati, the story of Tom Rakewell is seen through the eyes of Stravinsky himself – and dramatically unfolds as an interpretation of the fantastical inner landscape of the artist in the 20th century.
Dissatisfied with the simple country life, Tom Rakewell abandons his sweetheart to strike a deal with the devil and travels to the big city to embark on a life of reckless pursuit of money, power, fame and pleasure. After a visit to a sordid but enticing brothel, a grotesque marriage, a disastrously failed start-up venture and a game of cards with horrifyingly high stakes, Tom realizes the true nature of the bargain he has struck. Can he turn back the clock or is his fate already sealed? In a surreal battle of ideals, desires and temptation, Stravinsky tips the rake into madness and finds in Tom’s story a path to his own self recreation.
A slam-up of 50s pop icons, the gaudy excesses of Hollywood and the elegant brutality of Hogarth’s 18th Century London, this vision of The Rake’s Progress features Ben Bliss, recipient of Lincoln Center’s 2016 Emerging Artist award, making his BLO debut in the lead role, Kevin Burdette (acclaimed for Leporello in 2015’s Don Giovanni), Anya Matanovic, Heather Johnson, Yury Yanowsky, and a star turn by soprano Jane Eaglen as Mother Goose.
The Rake’s Progress: Program
Conductor David Angus
Stage Director Allegra Libonati
Set Designer Julia Noulin-Mérat
Co-Costume Designers John Conklin & Neil Fortin*
Lighting Designer Mark Stanley
Magic Designer Christopher Rose*
Movement Director Yury Yanowsky
Wig-Makeup Designer Jason Allen
Dramaturg John Conklin
Surtitle Designer Allison Voth
Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra Sandra Kott, Concertmaster
Boston Lyric Opera Chorus Michelle Alexander, Chorusmaster
Rehersal Coach/Accompanist Maja Tremiszewska†*
Assistant Director Anderson Nunnelley†
Stage Manager Hester Warren-Steijn*
CAST, in order of vocal appearance
Anya Matanovic as Anne Trulove
Ben Bliss* as Tom Rakewell
David Cushing‡ as Trulove
Kevin Burdette as Nick Shadow
Jane Eaglen as Mother Goose
Heather Johnson as Baba the Turk
Jon Jurgens† as Sellem
Simon Dyer† as Keeper of the Madhouse
Yury Yanowsky as Stravinsky
* Boston Lyric Opera Debut
† Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist
‡ Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist Alumni
Performed in two parts with one intermission.
Performance running time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes
Please note strobe light effects will be used during the performance
Pre-Opera Talks are free to ticketholders and take place one hour before curtain
LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
In the idyllic countryside, Anne Trulove and Tom Rakewell celebrate their love. Anne’s father has found a job for Tom in the city, but Tom longs for an easier path to money. Nick Shadow appears with news that Tom has inherited a fortune from an unknown uncle. They must leave for London and Tom need only pay Shadow for his services after a year and a day. In the wicked city, Shadow introduces Tom to Mother Goose’s brothel. Back in the country, Anne fears the worst and decides that she must rescue Tom. Meanwhile, Tom, in his new London house, is already bored with ordinary pleasures, so Shadow suggests visiting the amazing bearded woman, Baba the Turk. When Anne arrives at Tom’s house, she is horrified to find him married to the hideous Baba. When Tom tires of Baba as well, Shadow appears with one last new idea… a machine that turns stones into bread. Anne again appears to save Tom, but this time his house is for sale and his property for auction. The bankrupt Tom has disappeared with Shadow. Baba urges Anne to follow him. A year and a day from their first meeting, Shadow brings Tom to a graveyard at night. A terrified Tom discovers he must pay not with money but with his soul. But, as Shadow is about to take hold of him, Tom hears Anne’s voice in the distance and his past love is reawakened. Shadow, defeated, disappears into the ground. Tom survives, but he is now mad and is shut up in Bedlam. Anne comes there to comfort him, but there is little to be done. Her father arrives and persuades her to leave Tom to his fate.
Synopsis courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes
The Vision for The Rake’s Progress.
An Inside Look with Stage Director Allegra Libonati.
OUR FIRST 360˚ Video!
Now’s your chance to be in the middle of the action… Watch the male chorus rush to Tom Rakewell and the ladies set the scene for Mother Goose’s brothel. Turn around and watch Stage Director Allegra Libonati direct standing on a chair and Music Director David Angus conduct the singers right beside her.
Becoming Stravinsky: Behind the Scenes with Movement Director Yury Yanowsky.
Yury’s career as a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet spanned over two decades. He is The Rake’s Progress Movement Director and will appear on stage as Stravinsky.
Funny, Witty, and Painfully Beautiful: The MUSIC of THE RAKE’S PROGRESS.
Music Director David Angus on Stravinsky’s unique and energetic opera.
What is The Rake’s Progress?
Swirls of passion and a world of extremes masterfully crafted. Stanford Calderwood General & Artistic Director Esther Nelson answers the question we all want to know.
The COSTUMES of The Rake’s Progress.
Liz Perlman, the owner of Costume Works, tells us Mother Goose will be in acid green & Baba the Turk in 12 fabrics of fancy blue.
Costume Design for The Rake’s Progress.
This opera has TWO Costume Designers. Neil Fortin talks about combining visions with Co-Designer John Conklin.
The Rake of THE RAKE’S PROGRESS.
Leading man Ben Bliss tells us Stravinsky is like cubist Mozart (but not in a museum-y way). Ben was the recipient of Lincoln Center’s 2016 Emerging Artist award. He makes his BLO debut as Tom Rakewell.
Making of an Opera
Watch this 3 minute video about how The Rake’s Progress came together!
Meet the Artists
DAVID ANGUS | Conductor
David Angus is Music Director of Boston Lyric Opera, following a very successful period as Music Director of Glimmerglass Opera. He conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra every Season and is also Honorary Conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, where he was Chief Conductor for many years and built the orchestra into one of the most exciting young orchestras in Northern Europe. Mr. Angus now conducts opera all over Europe and North America. He began his career working at Glyndebourne, where he conducted a wide range of operas, and he went on to work in Italy and then across Europe. In the concert hall, he performs particularly in the UK and Scandinavia, and next Season will also see him in Italy, Ireland and Portugal, as well as returning to his former orchestra in Belgium. He has recorded many CDs and broadcasts regularly on classical radio channels.
ALLEGRA LIBONATI | Stage Director
Allegra Libonati returns to Boston Lyric Opera, having worked as Assistant Stage Director for BLO’s 2015 production of Don Giovanni. An international theater and opera director, her Guerilla Opera production, Troubled Waters, won Best World Premiere in the Boston Classical Review. Other credits include Assistant Director for Death and the Powers: The Robot’s Opera (Dallas Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Monaco Opera House) and most recently, Director for Peter Pan’s Neverland, a new, immersive adventure currently running in Beijing, China. Ms. Libonati is the Resident Director at the American Repertory Theater (ART) in Cambridge, where she has directed The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel, The Pirate Princess and The Light Princess, which also ran at the New Victory Theater. She has directed numerous musicals and Shakespeare productions at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan and looks forward to working at Opera Omaha next season on their production of Falstaff.
JULIA NOULIN-MÉRAT | Set Designer
In addition to her work as Associate Producer for Boston Lyric Opera, Julia Noulin-Mérat is Director of Design and Production for Guerilla Opera and resident set designer for Attic Theater in New York. She has designed over 300 opera, theater, immersive shows and television productions, including: Clemency, In the Penal Colony and La Traviata (Boston Lyric Opera); Così Fan Tutte and Bluebeard’s Castle (Opera Omaha); Sumeida’s Song and 27 (Pittsburgh Opera); Madama Butterfly (Opera New Jersey and El Paso Opera); Giver of Light, Loose Wet Perforated, Heart of a Dog, Say it Ain’t So, Joe, Gallo, Troubled Water, Pedr Solis, and No Exit (Guerilla Opera); L’Heure Espagnole and Scalia/Ginsburg (Castleton Festival); Transformations and Alcina (Boston Conservatory); The Barber of Seville (LoftOpera); and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (Gotham Chamber Opera). Ms. Noulin-Mérat recently returned from Beijing, China where she designed for the immersive production of Peter Pan’s Neverland.
JOHN CONKLIN | Costume Designer
John Conklin has designed sets on and off Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, and for opera companies around the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Bastille Opera in Paris, The Royal Opera and the opera houses of Munich, Amsterdam, and Bologna, among others. Locally, his work has been seen in Boston Lyric Opera’s recent productions of I Puritani (2014), La Bohème (2015), Werther (2016) and The Merry Widow (2016), as well as at the American Repertory Theater and Boston Ballet. Additionally, Mr. Conklin develops lecture series and community events for BLO that enrich the audience experience and strengthen the presence of opera in Boston’s arts community. He is on the faculty at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a recipient of the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.
NEIL FORTIN | Costume Designer
Neil Fortin is a Boston-based costume designer and a graduate of Boston University with an MFA in Costume Production. He has most recently completed designing for the American Repertory Theater production of James and the Giant Peach directed by Dmitry Troyanovsky. Mr. Fortin serves as Designer in Residence for Guerilla Opera and has also worked for The Huntington Theatre Company, The Boston Conservatory, Actors Shakespeare Project, The Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and the Metro Stage Company. This summer, Mr. Fortin will design Dido and Aeneas in Rochester, New York.
MARK STANLEY | Lighting Designer
Mark Stanley, Resident Lighting Designer for New York City Ballet, has designed over 200 premieres for their repertoire including Paul McCartney’s Ocean’s Kingdom. His designs are in the repertoire of The Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kevin O’Day Ballet National Theatre Mannheim, La Scala Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, and other ballet and dance companies in North America and Europe. Mr. Stanley previously served as Resident Designer for New York City Opera. His theatre work includes the Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, Ordway Music Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen and off-Broadway. His designs for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Peter Martins’ Romeo and Juliet, among others, have been seen on Live from Lincoln Center and Great Performances. Mr. Stanley heads the MFA Design and Production Programs as well as the Lighting Design Program at Boston University and is on the Board of Directors of the Hemsley Lighting Programs.
CHRISTOPHER ROSE | Magic Designer
Christopher Rose is a Magician, Mind Reader, and Mystery Entertainer in Las Vegas, NV. He has performed his show “Christopher Rose: Mind Control Artist” at numerous hotels on the Las Vegas Strip including the Royal Resort, The Orleans Hotel, and The Harmon Theater in Planet Hollywood. Mr. Rose has worked as part of the production team for several major theatre productions, including The Tempest (American Repertory Theater, Smith Center for the Performing Arts, South Coast Repertory Theater), for which he received the Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award.
JASON ALLEN | Wig and Makeup Designer
Jason Allen has been Boston Lyric Opera’s resident Wig and Makeup
Designer since 2003. A fixture of the Boston performing arts community,
he also works with The Huntington Theatre Company, Boston Ballet, and
many other organizations in Boston and throughout the country.
YURY YANOWSKY | Movement Director
Yury Yanowsky returns to Boston Lyric Opera after appearing in BLO’s 2015 production of In the Penal Colony. His career as a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet spanned over two decades. He was the recipient of the first prize at the Prix de Lausanne and won the Silver medal at both the Varna International Ballet Competition and the International Ballet Competition. Over the past decade, Mr. Yanowsky has had the opportunity to choreograph numerous ballets for Boston Ballet, Boston Ballet II, Carlos Acosta’s “Premieres Plus,” Festival Ballet Providence, The Bundes Jugend Ballet, among others. In 2015, he was awarded the Choreographic Prize at the prestigious Erik Bruhn Competition for his ballet, District, and he was the guest choreographer at the 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Opening Night Gala. Mr. Yanowsky is currently on faculty at Harvard University and most recently served as movement consultant for the American Repertory Theater’s production of Fingersmith.
ANYA MATANOVIC | Soprano
Anya Matanovic returns to Boston Lyric Opera after playing the role of Violetta in BLO’s production of La Traviata. Recent roles include Adele in Die Fledermaus (New Orleans Opera); Musetta in La Bohème (Arizona Opera); Marzelline in Fidelio (Seattle Opera); Gilda in Rigoletto (Opera Memphis, BYSO) Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Wanda in Offenbach’s La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Santa Fe Opera); Micaëla in Carmen (Glimmerglass Opera); Pamina in The Magic Flute (Crested Butte Music Festival, Utah Opera and BYSO); and Carmina Burana (Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra). Ms. Matanovic made her professional debut as Mimì in the Los Angeles commercial engagement of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of La Bohème. Her 2016/17 Season roles include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (Seattle Opera) and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (Lyric Opera of Kansas City) as well as a return to the Cleveland Orchestra.
BEN BLISS | Tenor
Ben Bliss is a 2016 recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award at Lincoln Center, awarded by The Metropolitan Opera. He was also the recipient of the Mozart and Plácido Domingo Awards at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Competition in Barcelona, first prize in the 2014 Gerda Lissner and Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation competitions, as well as Sara Tucker and Sullivan Foundation grants. Mr. Bliss’ 2016/2017 Season included a US recital tour with pianist Lachlan Glen, with stops at Carnegie Hall, the Folly Theater in Kansas City as part of the Harriman- Jewell series, Theater of the Arts at the University of the District of Columbia as part of the Vocal Arts DC Emerging Artists series, Hahn Hall at Music Academy of the West as part of the University of California, Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures series, and in Cincinnati with Matinée Musicale. Operatic appearances include a return to The Metropolitan Opera, as Tamino in The Magic Flute and Steuermann in Der Fliegende Höllander. Other opera appearances included Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Atlanta Opera), Count de Rosillon in Die Lustige Witwe (Gran Teatre del Liceu). This is his Boston Lyric Opera debut.
DAVID CUSHING | Baritone
David Cushing’s recent opera appearances include the title roles of Don Pasquale and Le Nozze di Figaro, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This Season, Mr. Cushing performs the roles of Bartolo in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro; Frère Laurent/Duke in Roméo et Juliette (Opera Tampa); Police Officer in Der Rosenkavalier (Boston Symphony Orchestra); Commendatore/Masetto in Don Giovanni (Bar Harbor Music Festival), and as a soloist in Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 (The Washington Chorus). He is a BLO Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumnus.
KEVIN BURDETTE | Bass
Kevin Burdette returns to Boston Lyric Opera after playing Leporello in Don Giovanni and Death/ Loudspeaker in The Emperor of Atlantis. Recent highlights include Stefano in The Tempest with The Metropolitan Opera (Deutsche Grammophon DVD,2014 Grammy Award); Beck Weathers in Everest, Eric Gold/Bazzetti’s Ghost in Great Scott, and Ob in Becoming Santa Claus, all world premieres with The Dallas Opera; multiple roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose (The Metropolitan Opera); Doktor in Wozzeck (Philharmonia Orchestra); Scattergood in The Last Savage, Général Boum in La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and Stobrod/Blind Man in the world premiere of Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera); Leporello in Don Giovanni (Los Angeles Philharmonic); Sulpice in La Fille du Régiment (San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera); Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Colline in La Bohème (Teatro Colón); Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Prophet/King in Dark Sisters, and Stobrod/Blind Man in Cold Mountain (Opera Philadelphia); and Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore (Opera Philadelphia, San Diego Opera). His upcoming engagements include performances with The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and Dallas Opera.
JANE EAGLEN | Soprano
Jane Eaglen has enjoyed unique success with opera’s most demanding heroines including the roles of Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, the title characters in Turandot and Norma, and most notably, Brünnhilde in the operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Ms. Eaglen has performed these roles to critical acclaim in the world’s leading opera houses including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Metropolitan Opera, l’Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scala, and the Wiener Staatsoper. Her concert performances include the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, The National Symphony, NY Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, and the Budapest, Edinburgh, Ravenna, and Salzburg Festivals. Her discography includes solo albums, several complete opera and concert recordings, and her recording of Wagner’s Tannhäuser which earned her a Grammy® Award. Ms. Eaglen was honored by the United States House of Representatives and awarded the Baccarat Award from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. She is a member of the voice faculty at the New England Conservatory, and returns annually to teach and mentor at the Merola Program at San Francisco Opera.
HEATHER JOHNSON | Mezzo-Soprano
BABA THE TURK
Heather Johnson returns to Boston Lyric Opera after playing the title character of Lizzie Borden in Boston and at Tanglewood. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Flower Maiden in Parsifal and returned for their productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hansel and Gretel and Enchanted Island. Ms. Johnson began the 2016/17 Season singing the title role in Tancredi (Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Southwest) and will also appear as La Messaggera, La Musica and La Speranza in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Chautauqua Opera). Other highlights include Page in Salome (Dallas Opera), Berlioz’s Nuits d’Eté (Minnesota Orchestra), Jesse in the world premiere of The Long Walk (Opera Saratoga) and Jo in Little Women (Madison Opera). She has appeared with Sarasota Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Virginia Opera, Nashville Opera, PORTOpera, National Art Centre Orchestra, New York Choral Society, Volkstheater Rostock, American Ballet Theater, Moab Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Mill City Summer Opera, Napa Festival del Sole and New York City Opera where she was the 2006 recipient of the prestigious Stanley Tausend Award.
JON JURGENS | Tenor
Jon Jurgens was most recently seen in the title role of The Picture of Dorian Gray while making his debut with Odyssey Opera. Recent roles include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Hubbard Hall Opera Theater); St. Brioche in The Merry Widow and Schmidt in Werther, while covering the roles of Camille and Werther (Boston Lyric Opera); and the title role in The Picture of Dorian Gray (Opera Fayetteville). Other highlights include the roles of Rodolfo in La Bohème (Opera Raw) and Don José in Carmen (Opera NEO). As a studio artist with Sarasota Opera, he has performed many roles including Curley in Of Mice and Men, Steuermann in Der Fliegende Höllander, and Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro. There, he has also covered Edoardo in Un Giorno di Regno and the Duke in Rigoletto. Mr. Jurgens is a 2015/16 and 2016/17 BLO Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist who was highly acclaimed as Tristan in BLO’s production of The Love Potion, and earlier that year made his BLO debut as Gastone, while covering Alfredo in La Traviata. He will be making his debut with Opera Columbus as Don José in May 2017.
SIMON DYER | Bass
KEEPER OF THE MADHOUSE
Simon Dyer is a 2016/17 BLO Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist. He was a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival in 2016 and will spend the summer of 2017 as a member of the Apprentice Singer Program at Santa Fe Opera. Recent appearances include Giorgio in La Gazza Ladra, and Rev. Hale (cover) in The Crucible (Glimmerglass Festival); Luka in The Bear and Mr. Grinder in The Zoo (Odyssey Opera); Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring (Boston Opera Collaborative); Prophet/King in Dark Sisters, Melisso in Alcina, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Immigration Officer in Flight and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress (The Boston Conservatory). In concert, he recently appeared as the soloist in Verdi’s Requiem in London, at a recital at the MFA Boston and as curator of John Cage’s SongBooks also at the MFA. He also appears on a CD with Boston Modern Orchestra Project released in late 2016.
SANDRA KOTT Concertmaster
ANNIE RABBAT Principal
KENNETH STALBERG Principal
LOEWI LIN Principal
ROBERT LYNAM Principal
LINDA TOOTE Principal
NANCY DIMOCK Principal
JAN HALLORAN Principal
RONALD HAROUTUNIAN Acting Principal
KEVIN OWEN Principal
TERRY EVERSON Acting Principal
JEFFREY FISCHER Principal
JESSICA JOHNSON BROCK
NICOLE VANDER LAAN
* Boston Lyric Opera Debut
† Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist
‡ Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist Alumni
Recommendations for further reading, watching, and exploring from John Conklin, BLO Artistic Advisor
For an overview of the piece—libretto, sources, musical analysis, performance history—there are two good guides:
- OEDIPUS REX/ THE RAKE’S PROGRESS
English National Opera Guide
Nicholas John, editor
Riverrun Press, 1991
- THE RAKE’S PROGRESS
Cambridge Opera Handbooks
Cambridge University Press, 1982
Since Stravinsky’s artistic life and personality are such an integral part of the BLO production, here are some (among the very many) books on (and by) the composer:
- AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
W. Norton, 1936
Written in 1934 with brio and wit (and a certain delicious malice), this autobiography covers the first part of the composer’s extraordinary life.
Schirmer Books, 1992
A full account of his life and works—detailed and erudite but quite accessible.
- STRAVINSKY INSIDE OUT
Charles M. Joseph
Yale University Press, 2001
A penetrating and acute analysis of Stravinsky as perhaps the 20th century’s greatest composer (he himself certainly thought so) but also as a significant and influential cultural icon. This book reveals Stravinsky’s two sides—“the public persona preoccupied with his own image and place in history, and the private composer, whose views and beliefs were often purposely suppressed.”
And then there is Hogarth, the artist whose series entitled A Rake’s Progress provided the inspiration for the opera:
- HOGARTH: A LIFE AND A WORLD
Farrah, Strauss and Giroux, 1997
A quite vast (600 pages+) but eminently readable work by one of England’s most talented contemporary biographers. Hogarth’s life, times and influence certainly merit such fascinating attention. Michael Holroyd (himself a superb biographer) writes, “…it crackles with vitality and sparkles with insights. She recreates Hogarth’s mercurial genius most dramatically as well as the turbulent and sophisticated 18th-century world he inhabited.”
- THE FIRST BOHEMIANS: LIFE AND ART IN LONDON’S GOLDEN AGE
Penguin Books, 2013
This resource provides another look at the social milieu of Hogarth and the rake’s life that he portrayed. “An irresistible history, fizzing with life” (Philip Pullman); “…a superb chronicle of a golden age of authentic urban creativity” (Tristam Hunt, The Times).
- ENGRAVINGS BY HOGARTH
Edited by Sean Shesgreen
Dover Fine Art, 2013
101 prints, with introductions and comments on each by Sean Shesgreen (including the Rake’s Progress sequence). And there is a lot going on in each of Hogarth’s engravings…here expertly explicated.
Hogarth was not the only sharp observer and brutal satirist operating in the fertile field of 18th-century England. Thomas Rowlandson was one of the sharpest and often most startlingly brutal—some of his works will turn up beside Hogarth’s onstage in the BLO Rake’s Progress production.
- THOMAS ROWLANDSON: PLEASURES AND PURSUITS IN GEORGIAN ENGLAND
Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, 2011
A lavish illustrated exhibition and catalogue of Rowlandson’s often outrageous (and often very funny) work.
There are quite good outlines of the lives and works of both Stravinsky and Hogarth on Wikipedia:
And don’t miss these interesting clips on YouTube:
The Rake’s Progress: A Student Study Guide
Start at smile.amazon.com to support Boston Lyric Opera every time you shop!
As 2017 comes to a close, we can't help reflecting on a year of incredible opera moments here at BLO—both on and off our "main" stage! Take a tour through our "Top Ten" memories from 2017...
The inspired suggestion of Auden as librettist came from Stravinsky’s neighbor, Aldous Huxley. Auden had been an opera lover for years, a passion he shared with his devoted-yet-fickle lover Chester Kallman, whom Auden brought on as co-librettist.
Neoclassicism in music was an important and striking 20th-century trend…and Stravinsky has often been portrayed as its most eloquent proponent and The Rake’s Progress as its culmination.
"Boston Globe: Did the Star-Spangled Banner land Stravinsky in jail?" An irresistible headline, a famous photograph…but it may all be just a kind of urban legend, “fake news” before its time. The real story is rather more complex and interesting.
Stravinsky: A face of infinite variety and music of an almost unprecedented range of stylistic mastery.
Jane Eaglen made her American debut with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in the Hatch Memorial Shell on July 3 and 4, 1992. The soprano had been singing professionally in her native Britain for eight years and stood on the cusp of what turned out to be a major international career. Jane Eaglen made her American debut with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in the Hatch Memorial Shell on July 3 and 4, 1992. The soprano had been singing professionally in her native Britain for eight years and stood on the cusp of what ...
For an opera company to thrive over the course of four decades, being in tune with ongoing trends and the constantly changing digital landscape is crucial. Boston Lyric Opera has established itself as a lead player in the space where the opera world and digital worlds collide. The company has a strong and growing ‘Tweet Seat’ campaign, that generated national coverage including this Wall Street Journal article, in which invited theatergoers are encouraged to live tweet during dress rehearsals. BLO’s latest initiative is a Virtual Reality (VR) video that immerses viewers in a rehearsal for its upcoming production of The Rake’s Progress.
The man to talk to about in the second half of Boston Lyric Opera's 2016/17 Season is David Cushing. The New Hampshire-born bass-baritone is the only soloist who will appear in both of the remaining productions, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.
After this triumph of neoclassicism, Stravinsky abruptly changed compositional course, subsequently writing in the style of musical serialism (closely associated with that other 20th-century titan of composition, Arnold Schoenberg). The upcoming BLO production will use The Rake’s Progress to explore this pivotal moment in Stravinsky’s career: the creative team has secured permission from the Stravinsky estate to add the non-singing role of Stravinsky to the opera.
In 1947, Stravinsky visited the Art Institute of Chicago and viewed a series of engravings by the 18th-century artist William Hogarth, entitled A Rake’s Progress. These eight scenes, which traced the descent of Tom Rakewell from respectability to debauchery to madness, struck him immediately with their dramatic potential—and thus, the seed was planted for what became his neo-classical operatic triumph, The Rake’s Progress. What were these artworks that so sparked his imagination, and who created them?
The Reviews are In!
“BLO’s production is a
stunning experience visually and vocally”
– The Boston Globe
“Enough good things cannot be said about the cast.”
– The Boston Globe
“The performance stands as a
highlight of the current music season.”
– Boston Classical Review
“BLO’s showy production is a winner…so much to love…”
– WBUR ARTery
…Anya Matanovic, Ben Bliss, Kevin Burdette, Heather Johnson are all
first-rate, with palettes perfectly suited to their roles.”
– WBUR ARTery
“Thoroughly transporting … delightfully bawdy…
an ingeniously clever night at the opera”
– South Shore Critic
“Opera composition of the highest order…
Conductor David Angus worked wonders with the gorgeous score.”
– WBUR ARTery
“ A powerhouse cast lifts BLO’s ‘Rake’s Progress’”
– The Boston Globe
“A fantastic new Boston Lyric Opera production.”
– Boston Musical Intelligencer