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 […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

4 October 2013

Opera Blog: The Background Story, Symbolism and Legacy of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”

Originally posted on Boston Lyric Opera Blog (10/4/13). There are countless hypotheses as to the original source of The Magic Flute. Suggested sources include Carlo Gozzi’s fables, which were popular in the Vienna of the 1780s; Chrétien de Troyes’ twelfth-century Arthurian romance Yvain, which was translated by Mozart’s fellow Mason Karl Joseph Michaeler, and in which […]

Continue Reading

27 September 2013

Opera Blog: BLO’s Interpretation of “The Magic Flute”

Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (9/27/13). The Magic Flute is considered one of Mozart’s most enduring masterpieces. The story of how it developed and what it meant at the time it was written has captured people’s imaginations almost as much as the work itself. The story behind The Magic Flute is one of mystery, […]

Continue Reading