25 November 2014

Opera Blog: A Conversation with Byron Adams about “The Love Potion”




Magda Romanska, BLO Dramaturg and Associate Professor of Dramaturgy at Emerson College, talks to Prof. Byron Adams about Frank Martin’s The Love Potion. Prof. Adams is a world-renowned musicologist, composer, and a leading expert on Frank Martin. Prof. Adams specializes in British music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His essays have appeared in journals […]

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20 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – Love Death, or Liebestod




“Liebestod” is the title of the final dramatic musical piece from Richard Wagner’s 1859 opera, Tristan und Isolde, but the word itself also means the theme of “love death” prevalent in art, drama, and literature. Liebestod (from the German Liebe, meaning “love,” and Tod, meaning “death”) defines the lovers’ consummation of their love in death […]

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17 November 2014

Opera Blog: “The Love Potion” – Background Story




Written by Switzerland’s greatest composer, Frank Martin (1890–1974), in the late 1930s, Le Vin Herbé was initially conceived as a 30-minute piece in response to Robert Blum’s commission for his Züricher Madrigalchor. Wanting to distance himself from Wagner and his operatic version of the myth (and, thus, also from the Nazis, who glorified Wagner’s music), […]

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13 November 2014

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




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 is driven by chorus members who assume […]

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10 November 2014

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




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 to Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, and […]

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