2 May 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with Mary Ann Smart about “I puritani”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (5/1/14). BLO Dramaturg, Magda Romanska talks to Mary Ann Smart, Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley about I Puritani. Professor Smart is the author of the book, Mimomania: Music and Gesture in Nineteenth-Century Opera, the editor of the critical edition of Donizetti’s last opera, Dom Sébastien, […]

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30 April 2014

Opera Blog: The Romantic Trope of a Madwoman in “I puritani”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (4/30/14). The portrayal of Elvira in I puritani follows the trope of the madwoman, which dominated the nineteenth-century European discourse on gender. Trapped in a man’s world, Victorian women often escaped into madness, which was viewed as the only permissible way for them to speak the truth and to […]

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25 April 2014

Opera Blog: “I puritani” Production History




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (4/25/14). Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835) is known for three major operas: La Sonnambula (1831), Norma (1831), and I Puritani (The Puritans, 1835). I Puritani was Bellini’s last, and it was composed between 1834 and 1835 specifi cally for the Théâtre-Italien in Paris. During the time he was writing the opera, […]

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24 March 2014

Opera Blog: The History of the Court Jester and Verdi’s “Rigoletto”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (33/24/14). The court jester is a universal character. He can be found in ancient Rome and in China, in Renaissance Europe and in czarist Russia, at the courts of the Middle East and in classical Sanskrit plays of ancient India. Although there were a few known female jesters, historical […]

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17 March 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with David Rosen about “Rigoletto”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (3/17/14). Magda Romanska, BLO Dramaturg and visiting associate professor at Harvard University, talks to Professor David Rosen about Verdi’s Rigoletto. Professor Rosen is a world-renowned musicologist, a leading expert on Verdi, and professor emeritus of Music at Cornell University. Professor Rosen was responsible for the critical edition of Verdi’s […]

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12 March 2014

Opera Blog: Boston Lyric Opera’s Version of Verdi’s “Rigoletto”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (3/12/14). BLO’s version of Rigoletto returns the opera to its original historical context. The dramatic structure of the story is framed by two necessary conditions: the world in which a ruler has absolute power over life and death, and a world in which the curse of a father is […]

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10 March 2014

Opera Blog: “Rigoletto” Production History




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (3/10/14). Verdi’s Rigoletto is based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 play Le Roi s’amuse (The King Amuses Himself), which centers on the excesses of a cynical and ruthless king who revels in the cruel treatment of his courtiers, particularly his jester. The play was meant to depict the story of […]

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15 January 2014

Meet the Dramaturg – Conversation with Magda Romanska




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (1/15/2014)   In a January 2014 Boston Globe article, BLO’s Dramaturg, Dr. Magda Romanska, was quoted saying that “the rigid division of roles (director/dramaturg/playwright)” or in the case of an opera, the stage director, dramaturg, and librettist “becomes more and more blurred as people move across boundaries” and […]

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5 January 2014

Offstage, Dramaturgs Are Playing a Prominent Role




By Joel Brown GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JANUARY 04, 2014 The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas will hold their annual conference here in June. “The theme of the conference is looking to the future to see where we are going,” says conference chairwoman Magda Romanska, an associate professor at Emerson College and editor of an […]

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20 November 2013

Opera Blog: The Background Story Behind “Lizzie Borden”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera (11/20/13). Lizzie Borden took an axe, Gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, Gave her father forty-one. THE MURDER AND THE TRIAL In August 1892, Fall River, Massachusetts, a prosperous town of 75,000, was rocked by a gruesome double murder. Seventy year old Andrew Borden, […]

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