13 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – BLO’s Version

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/13/14). One of the most prominent characteristics of The Love Potion is the opera’s structure: twelve singers tell the story, which is constantly flowing, while supported by haunting and almost hypnotic music. That type of dramatic structure closely follows the tradition of the Greek Chorus, in which the plot […]

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10 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – The Myth of Tristan and Iseult

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (11/10/14). The legend of Tristan and Iseult’s love is one of the founding and most enduring myths of Western culture. The exact origins of the legend are difficult to pinpoint, as the story appears in Celtic, Persian, Irish, French, German, British, and Welsh traditions. Over time, its appeal spread […]

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18 October 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with David Rosen about “La Traviata”

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (10/17/14). Magda Romanska, BLO Dramaturg and Associate Professor at Emerson College, talks to Prof. David Rosen about Verdi’s La Traviata. Prof. Rosen is a world-renowned musicologist, a leading expert on Verdi, and Professor Emeritus of Music at Cornell University. Prof. Rosen was responsible for the critical edition of Verdi’s […]

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10 October 2014

Opera Blog: “La Traviata” – Background Story

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (10/10/14). La Traviata, a melodrama in three acts, was set to a libretto by Verdi’s longtime collaborator Francesco Maria Piave and is based on Alexandre Dumas fils’ play, La Dame aux Camélias (The Lady of the Camellias). The play itself was adapted from Dumas’ novel of the same […]

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10 October 2014

Opera Blog: “La Traviata” – Beautiful Death

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (10/9/14). “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” —Edgar Allan Poe, “Philosophy of Composition,”  originally appeared in Graham’s Magazine, published in Philadelphia, in April 1846     The 19th-century affair with death is no great news to anyone even remotely familiar […]

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27 September 2014

Opera Blog: “La Traviata” – Love for Sale

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera blog (9/26/14). In the first volume of his sprawling 19th-century novel, In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust chronicles the tale of Charles Swann, an upper-class member of French society, and his obsessive love for Odette de Crécy, a popular and attractive Parisian courtesan. Although Swann is able to buy […]

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23 July 2014

Building the Future for Opera in a Digital World

Originally posted at In the Wings (7/23/14). During the last week of June, I chaired the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) conference, which took place in Boston and was hosted by Emerson College, my home institution. The annual gathering is a chance for dramaturgs across the U.S. and Canada to come together and […]

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14 June 2014

Between Art and Science: A Conversation with Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize-winner, scientist, playwright and poet

Originally posted at The Cosmopolitan Review (6/14/14).  Roald Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Złoczów, Poland. Having survived the German Nazi occupation, in 1946 he left Poland with his family for Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany and arrived in the U.S.A. on February 22, 1949, at the age of 11. He studied chemistry at Columbia and Harvard Universities […]

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12 May 2014

Opera Blog: “I Puritani”: Why we killed Arturo

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (5/12/14). In BLO’s version of I Puritani, a vengeful Riccardo kills Arturo during the last scene as the two happy lovers, Elvira and Arturo, finally reconnect after many trials and tribulations. Arturo dies in Elvira’s arms, and we can only anticipate that the final blow of his death will […]

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10 May 2014

Interview with Magda Romanska, author of “The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor”

Originally posted at Anthem Press Blog (5/9/14). The following is an interview with Magda Romanska, author of The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor: History and Holocaust in ‘Akropolis’ and ‘Dead Class’ This book is a historical and critical analysis of the post-traumatic theatre of Grotowski and Kantor, examining the ways they represent Auschwitz in their […]

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