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