MAY 5 â€“ 12 RAY LAVIETES PAVILION
ESTHER NELSON, STANFORD CALDERWOOD GENERAL & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR | DAVID ANGUS, MUSIC DIRECTOR | JOHN CONKLIN, ARTISTIC ADVISOR
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Clockwise from left: Students from Jackson/Mann K-8 School in Allston perform their classroom opera based on the children’s book Nasreen’s Secret School, Liza Voll Photography; Artists perform in BLO’s collaborative concert series with Castle of our Skins, Todd McNeel Photography; James Myers delivers a pre-performance talk before Tosca, Liza Voll Photography.
“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. The floor was of varnished wood, with stripes and circles painted on it, for the games that were formerly played there; the hoops for the basketball nets were still in place, though the nets were gone.” - THE FIRST LINES OF THE NOVEL THE HANDMAID’S TALE.
Margaret Atwood's fictional story, with its real historical inspirations, has captured the public imagination since its publication in 1985. Among those caught by its spell were Danish composer Poul Ruders and his librettist, the British actor and author Paul Bentley. They undertook the daunting challenge of shaping the descriptive images of this complex, dystopian novel into a cohesive dramatic structure for the stage. I am in awe of the orchestral and vocal soundworld that evokes not only the hypnotic and rhythmically pulsing world of oppression, but also the inner voices of the protagonists, the contrasting hushed atmospheres filled with hope and beauty. We are grateful to Mr. Ruders for creating our new performing edition, which premieres with BLO’s production. We are also indebted to Ms. Atwood for her ongoing support of our presentation. We are honored to welcome Ms. Atwood, Mr. Ruders, and Mr. Bentley to our performance at the Ray Lavietes Pavilion at Harvard University—a sort of homecoming for the story. As Mr. Ruders said to our Music Director, David Angus: “We are AT the Red Center!” We are proud of our talented cast, chorus, orchestra musicians, production artists, and of stage director Anne Bogart and her creative team who together are bringing this opera to life for you in this installation. We would not have been able to create this production here without the collaboration of Harvard University’s administration and the athletic department. This undertaking was championed by many friends and patrons, among them our wonderful “Handmaid’s Circle.” Their support and enthusiasm provided its foundation. Throughout this Season we have been fortunate again to collaborate with multiple community organizations that have enhanced and broadened our work. Opera is storytelling through music. We gather to share stories of emotional human experiences that bind us together. Our next Season opens with Pagliacci, one of the most popular works in the operatic canon. Together with multiple partners, this time we are creating an immersive community fair experience—much like the one that sets the story of the opera in motion. Fellow Travelers is a contemporary piece that New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini recently praised as “richly evocative,” and is based on the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s McCarthy era. Our new production of Norma in the spring features Elena Stikhina in the title role, returning after her star turn as Tosca last Season, who has become a stellar figure on international opera stages. Giulio Cesare, the final opera of the 2019/20 Season, is the intriguing story of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, considered one of Handel’s finest operas, and our first Baroque opera since our acclaimed Agrippina in 2011. Opera stars and artists from diverse international backgrounds are joined by BLO favorites, and our Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artists. If you wish to support future productions like these, please consider making a gift to BLO. Ticket revenue generates only about a quarter of our budget. Your valuable support allows us to keep ticket prices affordable, engage in educational initiatives and school programs, and keep opera part of our vibrant cultural landscape. Thank you for being part of our opera community!
Support BLO 2
Board of Directors 3
The Handmaid’s Tale Cast & Creative Team 4
The Handmaid’s Tale Synopsis 6
Overview of the Opera 7
Director's Note from Anne Bogart 8
Meet the Artists 10
Opera in the Golden Age of the Feminist Dystopia 16
Spring 2019 Partnerships 18
BLO Chorus, Orchestra & Supernumeraries 20
BLO Production/ Artistic Staff & Road Crew 21
BLO Staff, Volunteers & About BLO 22
The Handmaid’s Circle 27
Information on Venue 30
BLO Education 31
Esther Nelson | Stanford Calderwood General & Artistic Director Above: Kelley O'Connor in the title role and Margaret Lattimore as Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia.
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COVER: LIZA VOLL PHOTOGRAPHY
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Baritone Vincent Turregano serenades BLO Board member and supporter Maria Krokidas during the 2018 Opera Gala. 2 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR Another Boston Lyric Opera production, another new venue transformed. BLO is getting quite adept at installations like this one for The Handmaid’s Tale. From a teen arts facility earlier this spring for The Rape of Lucretia, now to a basketball arena, and next up this fall, a carnival environment for a story set in the world of traveling entertainers: the locations that BLO chooses are exciting, invigorating and designed to enhance the content of each production. Today’s work is a triumph for everyone that made this athletic facility into the world of Gilead. But none of our work could take place without support from our collaborative partners, in this case, Harvard University. It took great vision and even greater trust to permit an opera company to transfigure its historic basketball facility into something like the infamous “Red Center,” featured so prominently in Margaret Atwood’s classic novel. We’re all very grateful for Harvard's vision and for its ongoing support. Space collaborations are one important item in building operas in the modern-day world. Another is the ability to consider and define the art through the lens of the community we serve. The ominous story of The Handmaid’s Tale, along with our recent production of The Rape of Lucretia, spurred BLO to think about the environment in which we were to present them. Those of you who attended Lucretia know about our work with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. For Handmaid’s Tale, BLO has partnered with Casa Myrna, Boston's leading nonprofit delivering solutions to end domestic and dating violence. We thank both groups for their insight and support, and for being with us today to support anyone needing help for themselves or others. The idea of making opera that speaks to a wide community, and does so in an inviting way, is the vision that Esther Nelson has brought to BLO for the last decade. When she first came here in 2008, Esther challenged us to think about BLO in a different way. When she programmed her first Season in 2009/10, she convinced us—despite a recession-fueled urge to downsize—that, instead, we upsize and add a production to the more traditional, theater-based programming that was our norm. She has had a creative, yet practical, vision for this Company, and has led us through ten Seasons of great work, stable budgets and artistic excellence. BLO will celebrate Esther’s tenth anniversary (dubbed #EN10) starting this fall, and l look forward to celebrating the influential work that BLO has done here under her inspired leadership.
Michael J. Puzo | Chair, Board of Directors
BOARD CHAIR Michael J. Puzo VICE-CHAIR Miguel de Bragança TREASURER Susan W. Jacobs CLERK Dr. Irving H. Plotkin STANFORD CALDERWOOD GENERAL & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Esther Nelson, Ex Officio Linda Cabot Black Willa Bodman Alicia Cooney
Wayne Davis Alan Dynner Robert Eastman Andrew Eisenberg Thomas D. Gill, Jr. Mimi Hewlett Amelia Welt Katzen Maria J. Krokidas Jeffrey E. Marshall Abigail B. Mason Anne M. Morgan A. Neil Pappalardo E. Lee Perry William Pounds David W. Scudder Susan R. Shapiro Ray Stata Christopher Tadgell Lady Juliet Tadgell
BOARD OF OVERSEERS CO-CHAIRS L. Joseph LoDato Samuel Y. Parkinson Lawrence St. Clair James Ackerman Sarah Ashby Kimberly Balfour Elizabeth Barker Edward Bell Richard M. Burnes, Jr. Ellie Cabot Carol Deane Amos Deinard JoAnne Walton Dickinson Jessica Donohue Timothy Fulham David Hoffman Kathleen Hull
Amy Hunter Ernest Jacob Louise Johnson Ellen Kaplan Stephen T. Kunian Pam Kunkemueller‡ Louis Lévy Russell Lopez Anita Loscalzo David Manning M. Lynne Markus Jillian McGrath Jane Pisciottoli Papa Susanne Potts Carl Rosenberg Carol Rubin Allison Ryder Alex Senchak Wendy Shattuck Wynne Szeto
Frank Tempesta Richard Trant Amy Tsurumi Lydia Kenton Walsh Robert Walsh Peter J. Wender Tania Zouikin EMERITI Steven P. Akin J.P. Barger Horace H. Irvine II Sherif A. Nada
‡ Deceased As of April 15, 2019
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 3
MUSIC DIRECTOR DAVID ANGUS
CREATIVE TEAM CONDUCTOR
SET & COSTUME DESIGNER
ADAM J. THOMPSON*
WIG & MAKEUP DESIGNER
By arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc. publisher and copyright owner.
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA ORCHESTRA
ANNIE RABBAT Concertmaster
Surtitles by Satrina Massey
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA CHORUS
BRETT HODGDON‡ Chorus Master
ASSISTANT STAGE DIRECTOR
CYNTHIA HENNON MARINO
2018/19 Season Sponsor, Linda Cabot Black
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Music by Poul Ruders Libretto by Paul Bentley Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood Sung in English with English surtitles First performances of a new edition by composer Poul Ruders, commissioned by Boston Lyric Opera
PERFORMANCES SUNDAY, MAY 5 | 3:00PM WEDNESDAY, MAY 8 | 7:30PM FRIDAY, MAY 10 | 7:30PM SUNDAY, MAY 12 | 3:00PM Performance time is approximately 3 hours, with one intermission. TALKBACKS will be held immediately following the performances on May 8, May 10, and May 12. RAY LAVIETES PAVILION HARVARD UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS COMPLEX 65 NORTH HARVARD STREET BOSTON, MA 02134
*Boston Lyric Opera Debut
† Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin
‡ B oston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin
Emerging Artist Alumnus
THIS PRODUCTION WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SPONSORSHIP OF THE HANDMAID'S CIRCLE. WE RECOGNIZE AND THANK THEM FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THIS LANDMARK PRODUCTION. WE ADDITIONALLY THANK THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS: Linda Cabot Black, with special support for David Angus, conductor Sandra A. Urie & Frank F. Herron, with special support for Anne Bogart, stage director Willa & Taylor Bodman, with special support for James Schuette, set & costume designer, and Brian Scott, lighting designer Susan & Dennis Shapiro, with special support for the Boston Lyric Opera Chorus
CAST CAST in order of vocal appearance OFFRED
JENNIFER JOHNSON CANO
JANINE – OFWARREN
KATHRYN SKEMP MORAN
OFFRED & LUKE’S DAUGHTER
SAMANTA WILLISTON* (MAY 5 & 10)
JAMES RICARDO MILORD*
BEATRICE EDDY* (MAY 8 & 12)
THE DOUBLE (OFFRED IN THE TIME BEFORE)
HANDMAIDS, AUNTS, GUARDS, ETC.
JESSICA JOHNSON BROCK†
BRIANNA J. ROBINSON†
Sponsored by Ms. RoAnn Costin Sponsored by Abigail B. Mason
Sponsored by Miguel and Suki de Bragança Sponsored by Alicia Cooney & Stephen Quigley
Sponsored by Wendy Shattuck & Sam Plimpton
Sponsored by Gerard & Sherryl Cohen
Sponsored by Janet & Irv Plotkin
DANA BETH MILLER
Sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Timothy & Jessica Donohue
Sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. E. Lee Perry
Sponsored by Dr. Joseph & Mrs. Anita Loscalzo
Sponsored by Allison K. Ryder & David B. Jones
Sponsored by Mr. Edward J. Leary
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 5
SYNOPSIS The Handmaid’s Tale contains scenes of violence, misogyny, and sexual assault. In order to help you best prepare for the opera, please note that this synopsis contains plot details and events. After multiple disasters cause environmental ruin and widespread infertility, the United States has been taken over by an extremist Christian sect and reborn as the Republic of Gilead, where women have been returned to their “rightful” place in society. They are prohibited from holding property or working and are divided into a strict class system: Aunts are in charge of reeducation and the enforcement of social codes, Marthas work as cooks and housekeepers, Wives are the property of elite men, and Handmaids are women designated to bear the children of the leaders of Gilead. We meet a narrator, who describes her life as a Handmaid in the Red Center. Her friend, Moira, is punished severely for a minor infraction and later manages to escape. A few years later, the narrator is given to a high-ranking Commander, receiving a new name—Offred. She meets the Commander’s Wife, Serena Joy, whom she recognizes as a gospel singer from the time before. The household also includes a Martha named Rita as well as Nick, the Commander’s servant. Offred is paired with another Handmaid named Ofglen whenever she leaves the house to complete errands. All are constantly monitored by the Eyes of Gilead, a secretive police force. Throughout, Offred’s memories of the time before—her husband, her daughter, their violent separation—haunt her. Offred discovers a message in her wardrobe left by an earlier Handmaid: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. She goes to the Doctor, who fondles and offers to impregnate her. Offred tells him that she will consider it. That night, the household gathers for the monthly ceremony, which includes ritualized rape. Offred steals one of Serena Joy’s cigarettes on the way out. Later, Nick tells Offred that the Commander wants to see her secretly the following evening. Offred and Ofglen go to the Red Center, where Ofwarren is in labor. Amidst praying and chanting, the baby is born. Warren’s Wife names the baby Angela. Offred meets with the Commander in his study. They play Scrabble; she wins. He tells her to kiss him, and she does. Their visits continue, and he gives her contraband—a magazine— to read. More flashbacks reveal details about the time before, including her friendship with Moira. 6 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Ofglen tells Offred that Warren’s baby was deformed and has been put down. They pray for Ofwarren, but confess that neither is a true believer. Ofglen alludes to others and tells her the password of the resistance—Mayday. Offred thinks of her husband Luke and their daughter, and remembers their desperate attempt to flee Gilead. In the study, Offred asks the Commander to translate the Latin message. He tells her it is a joke: Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Ofglen urges Offred to spy on the Commander. She is uncertain. Serena Joy asks Offred to sleep with Nick in order to get pregnant. She offers Offred a bribe—a photo of her daughter. Overwhelmed to learn that her daughter is alive, Offred agrees. One night, the Commander gives Offred clothes and sneaks her out. They arrive at Jezebel’s, a private club for high-ranking men. Offred spots Moira across the room. They meet in the bathroom and embrace. After she escaped the Red Center, Moira was caught and given a choice: certain death working in the Colonies, or a few years as a sex slave. She chose the latter. Offred returns to the Commander. Back at the house, Serena Joy shows Offred a picture of her daughter, then brings in Nick. They pretend nothing is wrong and make love. Her affair with Nick continues and, desperate for connection, she opens up to him. The Handmaids and Wives are marched to the Salvaging Center. Aunt Lydia reads the charges against two women, and the Salvagers dispense justice. Aunt Lydia describes the crimes of a man, beaten and bloody. The Handmaids perform a Particicution. Offred hangs back at first, but Ofglen urges her on, telling her that she is being watched. Offred waits for Ofglen at the Wall, but a new Ofglen appears instead. At the house, Serena Joy furiously confronts Offred with evidence of her rendezvous with the Commander. She sends Offred to her room. Suddenly, Nick bursts in with a group of Eyes. Mayday, he says, but is this a beginning or an end?
THE HANDMAID’S TALE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE OPERA WORLD PREMIERE
The Handmaid’s Tale was written by composer Poul Ruders and librettist Paul Bentley in English, based on Margaret Atwood’s canonical novel, but had its World Premiere in a translation by the composer at the Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen, on March 6, 2000. The production then transferred to English National Opera in 2003, marking its English-language premiere. The opera won the 2001 Cannes Classical Award and was nominated for two Grammy Awards. BLO’s production will be only the third time the work has been produced by a major North American company. The first was Minnesota Opera’s U.S. premiere in 2003, and in 2004 the Danish Royal Opera production transferred to Toronto, Canada— Atwood’s hometown.
The Handmaid’s Tale, published in 1985, is set in and around Cambridge, drawing on Margaret Atwood’s own experiences as a graduate student at Radcliffe in the early 1960s, as well as world events in the late ’70s and early ’80s and the rise of the Christian Right in the United States. Writing in The Guardian in 2003, Atwood mused: “What inspired The Handmaid’s Tale?” I’ve often been asked. General observation, I might have said. Poking my nose into books. Reading newspapers. World history. One of my rules was that I couldn’t put anything into the novel that human beings hadn’t actually done. She also noted her fascination with Puritan New England and the Salem witch trials: “It’s no accident that The Handmaid’s Tale is set in Massachusetts.”
Now a basketball stadium, the Lavietes Pavilion at Harvard University first opened in 1926 as the Briggs Center (also known as the “Briggs Cage”) and housed Harvard’s indoor track teams. Basketball became the center’s main sport in the early 1980s, and the building went through a recent extensive renovation, reopening in 2017.
GENESIS OF THE OPERA
Danish composer Poul Ruders (b. 1949) was mainly known as a concerto specialist before he convinced Margaret Atwood to allow The Handmaid’s Tale to be adapted into an operatic libretto in the mid-1990s. As he read Atwood’s novel, Ruders heard “long, sustained towering chords, slowly becoming louder and louder,” and the more he read, the more convinced he became that it should be an opera. He contacted a skeptical Atwood, telling her that if he couldn’t base his next work on The Handmaid’s Tale, he’d never write another opera. After seeing the completed opera, she commented, “It’s a powerful piece...sort of like somebody gripping you by the back of the neck.”
THE COMPOSER & LIBRETTIST
Trained as an organist, Ruders has published challenging works for that instrument, including his Organ Symphony; the sounds of sustained keyboards permeate his Handmaid’s Tale and provide the foundation for many of its narrative recitatives. His published choral music combines ancient Gregorian chants and Latin texts, hymn tunes, psalm settings, and modern harmonies that extend those forms. While most of the choral writing in this opera is homophonic, with clearly articulated (and repeated) texts sung in rhythmic unison, some climactic passages overlap as many as five soloists and three dozen choral voices in three distinct choirs, each with its own pulsing, rhythmic theme. Librettist Paul Bentley (b. 1942), an English librettist, writer, and actor, chose to quote frequently from Atwood’s novel when crafting the text for Ruders’ opera: he retained many whole conversations, while ceremonial chanted texts recur and evolve into more elaborate Latin hymns. Bentley made the innovative choice to create an additional mezzo-soprano role (the Double) to voice the title character’s memories of her former self, while retaining all of Atwood’s major characters. The novel’s 46 chapters (some as short as two pages) became a sinuous series of 38 scenes. This information was condensed and adapted from two sources in the Spring 2019 issue of BLO’s CODA Magazine: “Quickstart: The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale” by Laura Stanfield Prichard. Images: The Widener Library; CD and poster art for the 2000 Danish production; poster for the 2017 Hulu series. BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 7
WOOD, - MARAGRET AT D'S TALE AI M ND HA E TH
WELCOME TO THE LAVIETES PAVILION
JENNY MATTHEWS / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
on the campus of Harvard University, the world’s second oldest basketball court. It may be true that novelist Margaret Atwood had exactly this spot in mind in The Handmaid’s Tale when she described what she called the Red Center, the place where all of Gilead’s Handmaids are trained as potential breeders. According to Atwood, the Secret Service of Gilead was housed in the Widener Library and it was the Harvard Yard wall where she imagined the hanging bodies of the executed. In Atwood’s novel, fertile women are taught how to act and how to present themselves at the Red Center. This is also the place where they are told that, because they were women, they no longer have the agency to make any personal choices.
8 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Imagine if you will, living in a world that tells you what to wear, where to live, what your position and value to society is and how to procreate. What would happen if choice was taken away from you? In Atwood’s story, which she wrote in the early 1980s while living in Berlin, the United States has undergone a coup that transformed the democracy into what she called “a literalminded theocratic dictatorship.” Due to a polluted environment, the population has shrunk, and toxic chemicals and abuses of the human body have resulted in many men and women becoming sterile. The Gilead regime has declared martial law and has systematically eliminated gay people, prioritized a specific mode of procreation, and subjugated women. The Handmaids are women who are still fertile but are no longer treated as individuals. They are condemned to a life of servitude and they are cultivated like livestock to reproduce for the elite. Domestic surveillance abounds and the patriarchal hierarchy carries out severe modes of control and maintains order. There is no free speech, no selfexpression. The Handmaids are indoctrinated into captivity and they are not allowed to do anything that would grant them any power independent of the system. They are not allowed to read, possess money or own anything. Even their names are taken away from them.
NOTES ON THE HANDMAID'S TALE ANNE BOGART | STAGE DIRECTOR
Nothing in Atwood’s story is pure fiction. All of the atrocities have already happened at one time or another in history, from the ancient Greek practice of sparagmos, a ritual at which the limbs of a victim were torn off his body, to the sorts of human degradation found throughout history in Germany, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Argentina, Romania, the Philippines and far too many other parts of the world, including the United States. I believe that the novel is a warning and the author’s message is this: It has happened before, and it could happen again. Our rights and freedoms are not rigid and cannot be assumed. The Handmaid’s Tale has been translated into over 40 languages, made into a ballet, a graphic novel and a film, as well as a popular TV series, and of course, an opera. Composer Poul Ruders and librettist Paul Bentley originally wrote the opera version in 2000. The libretto is remarkably true to Atwood’s novel and the score is deliciously rich and variegated. Ruders’ composition is highly original, but it also draws from the European expressionist traditions with echoes of Alban Berg as well as sweeping passages of minimalism, sampled digeridoo and some traditional tunes and pop sources. The music is at times beautiful and haunting; at other times comic and satirical; and often chilling. The layering and weaving of the many musical strands feel appropriate and echo the nature and structure of the novel. The piece demands ferociously virtuosic singers, and the artists of this cast have become extraordinary stewards of the layered, iconic characters and story.
DAN BUSLER PHOTOGRAPHY
The country of Atwood’s Gilead is built upon the foundation of the 17th-century Puritan roots that, one could argue, have always lurked beneath modern-day America. Atwood has pointed out that Harvard actually began as a Puritan theological seminary and was eventually repurposed into what is now seen as a bastion of liberalism. In the novel, she imagines that a new repurposing could happen, turning the campus into a patriarchal hub based upon a literal, fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, where its inhabitants are indoctrinated, where control and order is maintained.
How remarkable that since the original conception of the Ruders/Bentley opera, the relevance of The Handmaid’s Tale has increased exponentially, and the story has simply become part of the public conversation. Women wearing Handmaids’ garb are appearing in political arenas everywhere to make a variety of political points. Since the 2016 presidential election, Handmaids’ costumes have become common at protests and staged guerilla attacks on legislative convenings. In 2017, women wore Handmaids’ outfits into the Ohio legislature to protest a new restrictive abortion bill. The signature white bonnet and red cloak have come to refer directly to women’s oppression. The most quoted phrase from the book is the one scratched, presumably by Offred’s Handmaid predecessor, on the wall of her room’s cupboard: Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. It has become such a feminist rallying cry that many women had the phrase tattooed on their bodies. “Never has American democracy felt so challenged,” said Margaret Atwood upon receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Critics Circle in 2017. I can easily imagine that theater and opera would be outlawed in the land of Gilead. We gather in this school gymnasium—a space that, in each of our own communities, might be used for a polling place, a town hall meeting, or other public gathering—as witnesses, and participants. Let us keep vigilant and awake to the current changes in our cultural and political arenas. Let us engage. Left: July 13, 2018. Central London. A group of protesters dressed as women from The Handmaid's Tale holding a sign in Latin: 'Nolite te Bastardes Carborundum'. Above: Anne Bogart in conversation with WGBH's Jared Bowen, at a BLO event. BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 9
ARTISTS MARGARET ATWOOD | Author, The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her recent novels are The Heart Goes Last and the MaddAddam trilogy—the Giller and Booker Prizeshortlisted Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Other novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; and Alias Grace, The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Penelopiad—a retelling of the Odyssey—and the modern classic The Handmaid’s Tale – now a critically acclaimed television series. Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, was published in 2016. Her most recent graphic series is Angel Catbird. In 2017, she was awarded the German Peace Prize, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, and the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award. POUL RUDERS | Composer Poul Ruders is a composer for both the opera stage and the symphonic concert hall. His operas have been staged in Copenhagen, New York City, London, Toronto and Munich, and his orchestral music commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Ruders lives in the countryside of Denmark and has produced a deep and highly varied catalog which includes five operas, 45 symphonic works and concertos, and dozens of chamber and solo pieces. The music of Poul Ruders has been welldocumented by the record labels DaCapo (Denmark) and Bridge (USA), and is published by Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen. In 2019, Poul Ruders will celebrate his 70th birthday with the world premiere of his newest opera, The Thirteenth Child, staged by the Santa Fe Opera. Prior to the premiere, Bridge Records will release a studio recording of the two act ‘fairytale’ opera. Ruders’ best known opera, The Handmaid’s Tale, will see two new productions in the 2018/19 Season, including this Boston Lyric Opera production as well as another in Europe. PAUL BENTLEY | Librettist Paul Bentley is a British actor and writer. Acting in London’s West End includes Sondheim’s Assassins, Company, and Follies, Lloyd Webber’s Cats and Aspects of Love, the Captain in HMS Pinafore (Olivier Award nomination), and Dame Edna – the Spectacle. Television includes the High Septon in Game of Thrones series 3, 4, and 5. Writings include librettos for Poul Ruders’ operas The Handmaid’s Tale and Kafka’s Trial; A Handmaid’s Diary, a book about The Handmaid’s Tale opera from the first phone call to the First Night; The Man Who Came After Hyacinth Bobo, a Fourth Crusade novel; and Inquisition, a play about the Jesuit scientist Teilhard de Chardin.
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DAVID ANGUS | Conductor David Angus is Music Director of Boston Lyric Opera, following a very successful period as Music Director of Glimmerglass Opera. As a British/ Danish conductor, Maestro Angus has had a marked interest in Poul Ruders’ work, particularly this piece, for many years. He conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra every season and is also Honorary Conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, where he was Chief Conductor for many years and built the orchestra into one of the most exciting young orchestras in Northern Europe. Maestro Angus now conducts all over Europe and North America. He began his career working at Opera North (U.K.) and at Glyndebourne, where he conducted a wide range of operas, and went on to work in Italy and across Europe. In the concert hall, he performs particularly in the U.K. and Scandinavia, and this Season, apart from conducting all productions at BLO, includes further work in the recording studio with the London Philharmonic, and performing with the orchestra of Opera North (U.K.). ANNE BOGART | Stage Director Anne Bogart is a Co-Artistic Director of the ensemble-based SITI Company, head of the MFA Directing program at Columbia University, and author of five books: A Director Prepares, The Viewpoints Book, And Then You Act, Conversations with Anne and What’s the Story. With SITI, Ms. Bogart has directed more than 30 works in venues around the world, including The Bacchae, Chess Match No. 5, Steel Hammer, The Theater is a Blank Page, Persians, A Rite, Café Variations, Radio Macbeth, American Document, Bobrauschenbergamerica, and Hotel Cassiopeia. Recent opera works include Handel’s Alcina, Dvorak’s Dimitrij, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, Verdi’s Macbeth, Bellini’s Norma, and Bizet’s Carmen. Her many awards and fellowships include three honorary doctorates (Cornish School of the Arts, Bard College and Skidmore College), a Duke Artist Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller/ Bellagio Fellowship, and a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency Fellowship. SHURA BARYSHNIKOV | Movement Director Shura Baryshnikov is an interdisciplinary artist who works broadly as a dancer, actor, improvisor, choreographer, and somatic movement educator. Ms. Baryshnikov is a co-founding Artistic Director of Rhode Island-based contemporary dance project Doppelgänger Dance Collective and a founding member of the Contact Improvisation performance and research ensemble, Set Go. Most recently, she has performed the role of Orlando in The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre’s production of As You Like It, Joan of Arc in Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher at Odyssey Opera, Salome in Bridge Repertory Theater’s production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, and was a cast member in Sharon and Richard Jenkins’ production of Oklahoma! at Trinity
Repertory Company. Ms. Baryshnikov has collaborated with dance artists such as Heidi Henderson, Gabriel Forestieri, and Paul Singh and performed with companies including Lorraine Chapman the Company, Betsy Miller Dance Projects, Festival Ballet Providence, among others. She is Head of Physical Theatre for the Brown/ Trinity Rep MFA Program in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University and has also instructed at MIT, Dean College, Rhode Island College, and more.
Vicuña, A Great Wilderness, Cakewalk, The Boys in the Band, The Submission, The Big Meal, Bent, The Normal Heart (Zeitgeist Stage Company); My Three Angels, Ghost Train, Spamalot (The Barnstormers Theater); Small Craft Warnings (Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival), The Laramie Project (Curry College), 9 Parts of Desire (Capital Repertory Theatre), in addition to many sound compositions in collaboration with local Massachusetts choreographers.
JAMES SCHUETTE | Set & Costume Designer James Schuette has designed scenery and/or costumes for over 17 SITI Company productions. His work has been seen at American Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, BAM, Berkeley Rep, Classic Stage, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, NY Live Arts, New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Papermill Playhouse, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre/NY Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, Steppenwolf, Signature Theatre, Trinity Rep, Vineyard Theatre, Wexner Center, Yale Rep, Boston Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Chicago Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St Louis, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and internationally.
ADAM THOMPSON | Video Designer Adam J. Thompson is a designer working with video and interactive technology in live performance. Recent credits include video design for Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Diversionary Theatre), Mary Motorhead and Crude Capital (Beth Morrison Projects), Pipeline (City Theatre), Emma and Max (The Flea), and the 63rd Annual Obie Awards (Terminal 5). Associate video design credits include The Emperor (Theatre for a New Audience/Young Vic), This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic Theatre Company), and He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (Theatre for a New Audience). As a director and designer, he created the live cinema works Venice Double Feature (HERE), Searching for Sebald (Gowanus Art & Production), and The Orpheus Variations (Under the Radar at The Public Theater, HERE, others). He is the founder of The Deconstructive Theatre Project, an alumnus of The Public Theater’s Devised Theatre Working Group and the HERE Artist Residency Program, and a collaborator with The Builders Association and Big Art Group. Mr. Thompson is a recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, and others, and was recently selected as an ambassador to the 2018 Beijing International Design Biennial.
BRIAN SCOTT | Lighting Designer Brian Scott is a Lighting Designer based in New York City. As a SITI Company member, he has designed lighting for Chess Match No5, The Bacchae, Trojan Women (The Getty Villa), American Document (Martha Graham Dance Company), Under Construction, WhoDoYouThinkYouAre, Hotel Cassiopeia, Death and the Ploughman, War of the Worlds Radio Play, and Bobrauschenbergamerica (Henry Hewes Design Award 2004). Recent design work includes Lost In The Stars (Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra) and Dimitrij (Bard Summerscape). At the Park Avenue Armory, he designed lighting for The Event Of A Thread for Ann Hamilton; The Theatre is a Blank Page with SITI Company and Ann Hamilton; and Tears Become… Streams Become, Bound to Hurt, and Neck of the Woods with Douglas Gordon. He has also designed lighting for Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet. As a member of Austin-based Rude Mechanicals, he has designed numerous productions including Method Gun, I’ve Never Been So Happy, How Late It Was How Late, Lipstick Traces, Requiem for Tesla, and Matchplay.
TOM WATSON | Wig-Makeup Designer Tom Watson headed the wig/makeup department at The Metropolitan Opera for 17 years. He has designed more than 80 Broadway productions, including Wicked, Rock of Ages, The King and I (Lincoln Center Theater, Tour), Thérèse Raquin, Fiddler on the Roof, Oslo (LCT, London), Falsettos, The Little Foxes, Junk (LCT), The Parisian Woman, My Fair Lady, King Kong, and All My Sons.
J JUMBELIC | Sound Designer J Jumbelic is a Boston-based freelance theatrical sound composer and full time production sound engineer at the Huntington Theatre Company. Mr. Jumbelic’s New England credits include A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Huntington Theatre Company); Dead House, Lost Tempo, Every Piece of Me, Franklin, The Honey Trap, Faithless (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 11
ARTISTS JENNIFER JOHNSON CANO | Mezzo-Soprano OFFRED Jennifer Johnson Cano returns to BLO where she performed Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. Ms. Cano joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera after winning The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and has given over one hundred performances at the Met, with recent roles including Bersi, Hansel, Mercédès, Nicklausse, Wellgunde, Waltraute, among others. This Season, Ms. Cano returned to the Metropolitan Opera stage as Emilia (Otello) and Meg Page (Falstaff). Orchestral engagements include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony. On the recital and chamber music platform, Ms. Cano recently performed at Carnegie Hall and will return to Chamber Music of Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for a performance of Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Falla’s Psyche. Ms. Cano will sing in two World Premieres this Season; Paul Moravec’s A New Country and Gregg Kallor’s Sketches from Frankenstein Suite. Other operatic appearances have included Orphée (Orphée et Eurydice) with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Des Moines Metro Opera, Diana (La Calisto) with Cincinnati Opera, Marguerite (La Damnation de Faust) with the Tucson Symphony, and many more. CAROLINE WORRA | Soprano AUNT LYDIA Caroline Worra, a Grammy® Award-nominee, returns to BLO where she performed in Agrippina, Così Fan Tutte, Greek, Idomeneo, Lizzie Borden, among others. Ms. Worra has been on the rosters of The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, and many more. She also performed on two U.S. National Tours with San Francisco’s Merola/Western Opera Theatre singing Violetta (La Traviata) and Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus). Ms. Worra gave a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) and performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C, Britten’s Spring Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She has also performed in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the LaCrosse Symphony. Internationally, Ms. Worra has performed at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily (Anne Trulove, The Rake’s Progress), The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (Jenny, The Mines of Sulphur), and with Espaço Cultural Alexandre Innecco in Brazil (Violetta, La Traviata). Upcoming operatic engagements include Some Light Emerges with Utopia Opera and Glory Denied with Urban Arias, and recitals with Berkshire Opera Festival and Tuba Bach Chamber Festival.
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KATHRYN SKEMP MORAN | Soprano JANINE – OFWARREN Kathryn Skemp Moran returns to BLO where she performed Frasquita in Carmen, Bubikopf in The Emperor of Atlantis, and Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. Other operatic roles include Laurie in The Tender Land with Madison Opera, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utah Opera, and Jano in Jenufa with Glimmerglass Opera. Ms. Moran has performed with the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart on tour and in Symphony Hall, and Off-Broadway in The Music Teacher with The New Group. Ms. Moran has a Bachelor of Music and Musical Theater degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music from Boston University. CHELSEA BASLER | Soprano MOIRA Chelsea Basler, a Grammy® Award-nominee, is returning to BLO as a Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumna, having appeared in numerous productions including The Threepenny Opera (Lucy), Carmen (Micaëla), The Magic Flute (Papagena), and many more. Upcoming engagements include joining the roster of The Metropolitan Opera, covering in Manon (Poussette) and La Bohème (Musetta), a return to BLO where she will sing the role of Mary Johnson in the Company’s production of Fellow Travelers, and her Arizona Opera debut in fall 2020. Prior engagements include performances with Opera Saratoga (Susanna, Le Nozze di Figaro), Virginia Opera (Turandot), and debuts with both Nashville Opera and Pasadena Opera in the title role of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. Ms. Basler has also completed several prestigious young artist residencies, performing at Santa Fe Opera, Opera Saratoga, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, among others. On the concert stage she has performed with the Omaha Symphony, Boston’s Mercury Orchestra, Glen Falls Symphony, and the Cape Symphony. Frequently awarded and recognized in competitions, she has a BM from New England Conservatory and an MM and artist certificate from Boston University. MARIA ZIFCHAK | Mezzo-Soprano SERENA JOY Maria Zifchak joins Boston Lyric Opera this Season in her Company debut. The 2018/19 Season included a return to The Metropolitan Opera in La Traviata (Annina) and The Magic Flute (Third Lady), a return to Seattle Opera in The Turn of the Screw (Mrs. Grose), and a production of Dead Man Walking (Mrs. DeRocher) with Atlanta Opera. Recent credits include Madama Butterfly (Suzuki), Romeo and Juliette (Gertrude), Rigoletto (Giovanna), and La Traviata (Annina) on the Met stage; Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett) with Atlanta Opera; a public master class with the Lindemann Young Artist Program, and more. Ms. Zifchak has sung with English National Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Cincinnati Opera, Toledo Opera, Nashville Opera,
Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, and many more. On the concert platform, she has performed with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Teatro Grattacielo at Alice Tully Hall, National Chorale, and at Carnegie Hall with New York Choral Society and Oratorio Society of New York, among others. Upcoming engagements include Maria Stuarda (Hannah) and Madama Butterfly (Suzuki) with The Metropolitan Opera. JAMES RICARDO MILORD | Actor TV PRESENTER James Ricardo Milord is a Boston-based performer who has recently been seen in The Agitators and Cyrano with Gloucester Stage Company. Other credits include Anna Christie and Barbecue (The Lyric Stage Company of Boston); Akeelah and the Bee (Wheelock Family Theatre); Clybourne Park (Longwood Players Club); The Good Negro, Splendor, The Brothers Size Trilogy, Clockwork Orange (Company One); and Macbeth (Shakespeare Now), among many others. Mr. Milord’s film credits include Honest Thief (Solution Entertainment Group), Proud Mary (Screen Gems), The Brotherhood (Showtime), in addition to numerous independent films and industrial commercials. FELICIA GAVILANES | Mezzo-Soprano THE DOUBLE (OFFRED IN THE TIME BEFORE) Felicia Gavilanes is a Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumna having performed in BLO’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. Recent company debuts in the U.S. and abroad include Odyssey Opera (Leoena, La Belle Hélène), Teatro Lírico Nacional de Cuba (Dido, Dido and Aeneas), Winter Opera St. Louis (Zulma, L’Italiana in Algeri), Gulfshore Opera, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and more. Additional operatic roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mrs. DeRocher in Dead Man Walking, Flora in La Traviata, Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, Asakir in Sumeida’s Song, and Tisbe in La Cenerentola. On the concert platform, Ms. Gavilanes has been featured in Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Queen Jezebel/Angel), and has performed at the Gran Teatro de la Habana, the Staatstheater Darmstadt and the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome. JESSE DARDEN | Tenor LUKE Jesse Darden returns to BLO as the Company’s first Principal Artist-in-Residence, performing in all four operas of the 2018/19 Season. This summer, Mr. Darden returned to Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist covering the role of Robert Wilson in Doctor Atomic; he previously served as an Apprentice Artist with the company in 2017, and has also completed apprenticeships with Chautauqua Opera and Opera North. Mr. Darden was a New
England Regional Finalist with the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, won Third Prize in the Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition, and was a recipient of the Chautauqua Opera Studio Artist Award. He has performed roles and solos with Odyssey Opera, Dartmouth College, Piedmont Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and the Chautauqua Symphony. Mr. Darden is also a BLO Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumnus LYNN TORGOVE | Mezzo-Soprano RITA Lynne Torgove, a Boston-based singer and stage director, returns to BLO where she performed in Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Turn of the Screw. Operatic roles include the Son/Juniper Bird in the World Premiere of the Philip Glass/Robert Moran opera, The Juniper Tree, Eurydice (Orphée), and Polly Peachum (The Threepenny Opera) with the American Repertory Theater. Ms. Torgove has appeared as a soloist with Emmanuel Music, Cantata Singers, Boston Camerata, Aston Magna, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, American Repertory Theater, and Berkshire Choral Festival, among others. As a stage director, Ms. Torgove has directed productions of Sullivan’s The Zoo and Walton’s The Bear (Odyssey Opera), Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Foss’s Griffelkin (MIT), John Harbison’s Full Moon in March (BMOP), and more. Ms. Torgove has been on the faculties of the Opera Institute at Boston University, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the Longy School of Music, and Hebrew College. MICHELLE TRAINOR | Soprano OFGLEN Michelle Trainor is a BLO Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumna, where she has sung in The Barber of Seville, The Threepenny Opera, Burke & Hare, The Marriage of Figaro, The Inspector, Macbeth, Clemency, The Magic Flute, The Merry Widow, and The Love Potion. Ms. Trainor recently made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Der Rosenkavalier with Andris Nelsons. This fall, she performed Benoni in Gounod’s La Reine de Saba with Odyssey Opera, Berta in The Barber of Seville with Michigan Opera Theatre, and made her Boston Modern Orchestra Project debut as Oneeta/Princess Batcheat in Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Other recent highlights Der Zwerg (Odyssey Opera), Isolde’s Liebestod (Brookline Symphony Orchestra), and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (New World Chorale). Ms. Trainor has recorded MacMillan’s Clemency and Schubert’s Hagar’s Lament on the BIS label with BLO and was the 2011 recipient of the Company’s Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence. As a concert soloist, she has performed at Carnegie Hall and in Boston Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also sang Jocasta in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Emmanuel Music, where she will return this Season for Mrs. Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera. BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 13
ARTISTS DANA BETH MILLER | Mezzo-Soprano OFFRED’S MOTHER Dana Beth Miller returns to BLO where she performed the title role in Carmen in 2009. In the 2018/19 Season, Ms. Miller joins The Metropolitan Opera for their Ring Cycle production in Die Walküre, and makes her debut with both the Boston Symphony Orchestra (La Badessa, Suor Angelica) and the Tanglewood Festival (Grimgerde, Die Walküre). Ms. Miller is a recipient of many awards and has performed roles both in the U.S. and internationally with Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and more. Recent credits include Erda in Das Rheingold (Deutsche Oper Berlin, Arizona Opera), the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem (Oregon Symphony), Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera (Deutsche Opera Berlin, Florida Grand Opera), Dame Quickly in Falstaff (Opera Colorado), Anna in Les Troyens and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and her debut in the U.K. with English National Opera as Amneris in a new production of Aïda at the London Coliseum. On the concert platform, she recently performed as a soloist with the National Taiwan Symphony, Washington Concert Opera, the Český Krumlov International Music Festival in the Czech Republic, and more. MATTHEW DIBATTISTA | Tenor THE DOCTOR Matthew DiBattista returns to BLO where he performed in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Madama Butterfly, The Marriage of Figaro, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has been on the roster of The Metropolitan Opera and has performed four straight seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Recent performances include The Witch (Hänsel und Gretel), Triquet (Eugene Onegin), Borsa (Rigoletto), with Michigan Opera Theatre; Spoletta (Tosca) with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood; Goro (Madama Butterfly) and Scaramuccio (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Santa Fe Opera, and more. Other credits include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Omaha, Tulsa Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Colorado, Long Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, among others. He appeared for eight of the last nine seasons as principal artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. On the concert stage, Mr. DiBattista has been soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with Keith Lockhart and the Dayton Philharmonic; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Fenway Park, Fresno Symphony, Wichita Symphony); Carmina Burana (Wichita Symphony, New Orleans Opera), and more. OMAR NAJMI | Tenor NICK Omar Najmi returns to BLO as a Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumnus having appeared in many productions with the Company including Kátya Kabanová, The Love Potion, Lizzie Borden, I Puritani, Rigoletto, The Magic Flute, and Werther. 14 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Mr. Najmi is also an alumnus of the Opera Colorado Young Artist Program (Lucia di Lammermoor, La Fanciulla del West, The Elixir of Love, The Barber of Seville) and has been a Young Artist with Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Opera North. He has performed with Opera NEO (Don Giovanni, The Merry Widow, Idomeneo), Opera Fayetteville (Flight and Little Women), Odyssey Opera (Lucio Silla), the American Lyric Theater (La Reina workshop), and more. Mr. Najmi made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 as the tenor soloist in Mark Hayes’ Gloria and has performed on the concert stage with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Cape Cod Chorale, among others. As a composer, he will be premiering his first original chamber opera, En la Ardiente Oscuridad, this year. DAVID CUSHING | Baritone THE COMMANDER David Cushing returns to BLO where he has performed in numerous productions including Tosca, The Treepenny Opera, Burke & Hare, The Rake’s Progress, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Rigoletto, and many more. Operatic appearances include the title roles in Don Pasquale and The Marriage of Figaro, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mr. Cushing has sung with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Colorado, and Nashville Opera, with recent credits including performances with Bar Harbor Music Festival (Don Pasquale, Don Pasquale), Opera Tampa (Basilio, Il Barbiere di Saviglia and Banquo, Macbeth), and a World Premiere with White Snake Projects (Sun Tze, Rev. 23). Orchestral engagements include solo performances with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Emmanuel Music at Jordan Hall, the Tanglewood Festival, and a recent debut at Symphony Hall as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Mr. Cushing is a BLO Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist alumnus. VERA SAVAGE | Mezzo-Soprano NEW OFGLEN Vera Savage, last year’s winner of BLO’s annual Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence, returns to the Company where she has performed in The Merry Widow, The Threepenny Opera, and more. Ms. Savage’s recent performances include Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff with both Opera Saratoga and Opera on the James, Madam Larina in Eugene Onegin with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Tisbe in La Cenerentola at Opera Saratoga, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito at Opera in the Heights, and Mrs. Baines in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera. Recent engagements include performances with Commonwealth Chorale and Ms. Savage’s debut at the Spoleto Festival USA in Donizetti’s rarely-performed opera Pia de’ Tolomei.
A REVIVAL OF LAST YEAR'S POPULAR PROGRAM!
BLO IN COLLABORATION WITH CASTLE OF OUR SKINS
FRIDAY, JUNE 14 | 12:30PM
CENTRAL LIBRARY, COPLEY SQUARE 700 BOYLSTON STREET, BOSTON CONCERTS IN THE COURTYARD SERIES
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D L U O C G N I “ANYTH , E R E H W Y N HAPPEN A GIVEN THE .” S E C N A T S CIRCUM
– MARGARET ATWOOD
OPERA IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE FEMINIST DYSTOPIA BY LUCY CAPLAN
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t has been said that we are living in the golden age of the feminist dystopia. Head to the library and you will find shelves full of them: in Vox (2018), by Christina Dalcher, women in the United States are permitted to speak only 100 words per day. In Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God (2017), evolution starts to work backwards; pregnant women find themselves under siege by the panicked government. Bina Shah’s Before She Sleeps (2018) takes place in a Middle Eastern city where women die en masse, and those who survive are forced into polygamous marriages. Yet even as these fictional tales proliferate, it remains highly unusual to see a similar story on the operatic stage. Why are there so many feminist dystopias in fiction, and so few in opera? And can The Handmaid’s Tale, as both an opera and the foremother of these recent novels, bridge this gap?
Margaret Atwood was initially skeptical about the prospect of turning her wildly popular 1985 novel into an opera. “I had a brief, nightmarish vision,” she later wrote, “of a line of high-kicking handmaids revealing their beige, utilitarian undergarments while singing some version of the Anvil Chorus.” Like other feminist dystopias, The Handmaid’s Tale depicts a bleak world that holds up a mirror to the sexist underpinnings of our own. (Unnervingly, the current popularity of this genre has prompted cheerily titled “listicles” online: I recently came across “4 New Feminist Dystopias You Should Read ASAP.”) Works that fall within the category of feminist dystopia are generally written by women and portray great violence done to women: disease, death, and punishment, often perpetrated by tyrannical governments. To Atwood, there seemed to be a chasm between these fundamental characteristics of her novel and the extravagance and spectacle of opera. There are other reasons that an operatic adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale—or any other feminist dystopia—is not an obvious choice. One straightforward but illuminating explanation is that we hear few operas by women at all, dystopian or otherwise. (Thankfully, that is starting to change; operas by women have been awarded two of the last three Pulitzer Prizes.)
GOLDFINCH4EVER / ISTOCK
Another, perhaps more troubling, possibility is that operatic plots, unto themselves, have long been a dystopian place for women. In her foundational scholarly work, the philosopher Catherine Clément argued that an uncomfortable truth about opera is its reliance upon the “undoing of women”: women in opera are harmed, assaulted, raped, and murdered with distressing frequency, and all that violence is glossed over by the beauty of the music. Composers interested in creating an operatic feminist dystopia might risk simply reiterating that status quo, rather than challenging it. Yet other scholars have come to very different conclusions than Clément: for instance, by showing how opera actually empowers female performers, or how women have the agency to interpret their roles in ways that resist and defy that “undoing.” As this debate suggests, opera’s treatment of women remains an important point of reckoning for audiences who know and love this art form. There are other, more expansive ways to think about the connection between opera and feminist dystopia. Far from reducing The Handmaid’s Tale to a surreal, creepy chorus line, opera can open up complex and communal ways of engaging with the world that the novel so strikingly depicts. Consider, for example, the eerie fact that you are seated in a gymnasium that may be precisely the one Atwood had in mind. As the author noted in a 2017 essay, one of her goals in the novel was to explode the myth that it can’t happen here: “Anything could happen anywhere, given the circumstances.” In this production, that truth becomes inescapable. It is dramatized, visceral: rather than just reading about the hypothetical possibility of this space as the Red Center, you experience that transmogrification in real time and among other people. It is happening here. Another intriguing point of connection joins opera’s “total work of art” status with the totalitarian nature of dystopia. If opera is about creating a whole world onstage via cinematic scale and the
combined power of drama, music, and visual spectacle, dystopias rely upon a similarly absolute sense of reality. The Handmaids are especially vulnerable to this distortion of reality: they are barely permitted to venture beyond the Commanders’ homes and are stripped of their own names; their enormous bonnets, or “wings,” literally constrict their vision to what is immediately in front of them. (Though, in the BLO production, you may notice that the Handmaids rarely wear their smaller bonnets, so that the singers are not impeded in any way by having their ears constricted.) Opera audiences—who, similarly, see only the reality depicted before them onstage—gain the ability to identify with the Handmaids’ plight, and with the way that insidious power can reach into every aspect of one’s perception. Yet rarely do characters in a feminist dystopia passively accept the version of reality offered to them by totalitarian forces. Offred maintains her sense of self despite attempts to crush it: she plays Scrabble, engages in wordplay, and holds on to her memories as best she can. The layered complexity of the score, which combines an array of musical fragments rather than offering a single, unified sound, offers a sonic parallel to these hidden attempts. It makes Offred’s resistance audible, a musical representation of how she refuses to accept her fate. If the dystopian nature of this society is incontrovertibly clear, Atwood has been more circumspect about whether her tale is a feminist one. “Is The Handmaid’s Tale a ‘feminist’ novel? If you mean an ideological tract in which all women are angels and/or so victimized they are incapable of moral choice, no,” she writes. “If you mean a novel in which women are human beings—with all the variety of character and behavior that implies— and are also interesting and important....then yes.” This tension between totality and variety is, ultimately, not unique to feminist dystopias. It is at the heart of opera in general, which creates a multidimensional world onstage but necessarily leaves room for individual complexity within that world. Opera invites—even demands—the ambivalence that Atwood seems to prize. Perhaps as more work by women makes its way into the opera house, a golden age of feminist dystopian opera awaits. Lucy Caplan recently completed her Ph.D. studies at Yale University, writing a dissertation on African American opera in the early twentieth century. She is the recipient of the 2016 Rubin Prize for Music Criticism. Cover of the first American edition of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale (1986). Costume sketch by costume and set designer James Schuette for BLO’s production of the The Handmaid’s Tale. BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 17
Duncan Rock and Kelley O’Connor in The Rape of Lucretia.
AT BLO, we believe that art can be a catalyst for conversation,
for healing, and for action. Our Spring Season of 2019 places issues of sexual violence and power in focus with new productions of The Rape of Lucretia and The Handmaid’s Tale. In preparing and presenting these two operas, we are partnering with two leading social service organizations in the Boston community, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) and Casa Myrna. BARCC served as lead partner for our March production of The Rape of Lucretia—a representative from BARCC was present at all performances to staff an informational resource table, to be available for audience inquiries or needs, and to participate alongside cast and creative team members in post-show Talkbacks which engaged nearly 300 audience members. Join us alongside representatives from Casa Myrna, BLO’s lead partner for The Handmaid’s Tale, after select performances for in-depth conversations about this crucial and compelling work.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE TALKBACKS WED, MAY 8 | FRI, MAY 10 | SUN, MAY 12 Talkbacks will begin approximately 5 minutes after curtain calls and last for a half hour. Send us your questions and thoughts on Twitter or Facebook using #HANDMAIDSBLO—each night, we will select audience questions from social media for our Talkback panel to engage with and answer.
Here are just a few reactions from critics and audience members about these partnerships and The Rape of Lucretia: BLO made bold to program this opera today; I applaud their decision to engage with these topics in the world of opera, and also to partner with Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and Casa Myrna. Awareness and education can lead to sure and certain hopes for a better future.... – Cashman Kerr Prince, Boston Musical Intelligencer
A political allegory “Lucretia” may be, but the personal is political and the political personal. In my preview, I commented that the bones of the plot sound ripped from the headlines: a man convinces himself that a woman desires him, and when she says no, he forces himself on her. To a modern audience, that’s what’s going to stand out, not the political story. […] Ending thoughts: if you’re going to do “Lucretia,” […] partner with a local advocacy org, i.e. @BostLyricOpera’s collaboration with @barcc, to educate and provide support & resources to staff, cast, crew, and audience. – Zoe Madonna, Boston Globe writer, in a Twitter “think piece” @knitandlisten
D @BostLyricOpera | E facebook.com/BostonLyricOpera We are grateful to the Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Foundation and the Boston Cultural Council for support of our partnerships with BARCC and Casa Myrna. 18 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
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BLO COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 19
ARTISTS, STAFF & CREW BOSTON LYRIC OPERA ORCHESTRA
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA CHORUS
ANNIE RABBAT | CONCERTMASTER
BRETT HODGDON | CHORUS MASTER
VIOLIN I ANNIE RABBAT TERA GORSETT KECK SANDRA KOTT LENA WONG HEIDI BRAUN-HILL ZENAS HSU HEATHER BRAUN BAKKEN ROHAN GREGORY ROBERT CURTIS SARAH ATWOOD ASUKA USUI VIOLIN II COLIN DAVIS Acting Principal ROKSANA SUDOL ROSE DRUCKER NIVEDITA SARNATH CYNTHIA CUMMINGS YUMI OKADA STACEY ALDEN RYO USAMI SUSAN CARRAI VIOLA KENNETH STALBERG Principal DAVID FELTNER ABIGAIL CROSS DON KRISHNASWAMI JOAN ELLERSICK NORIKO FUTAGAMI CELLO ARON ZELKOWICZ Acting Principal ELEANOR BLAKE KEVIN CRUDDER SAM OU VELLADA MIRAGIAS BASS BARRY BOETTGER Acting Principal KEVIN GREEN ANTHONY D’AMICO NATHAN VARGA PICCOLO ALLISON PARRAMORE Acting Principal
OBOE NANCY DIMOCK Principal MARY CICCONETTI OBOE/ENGLISH HORN CATHERINE WEINFIELD-ZELL CLARINET JAN HALLORAN Principal KAREN HENINGER CLARINET/BASS CLARINET GARY GORCZYCA BASSOON MARGARET PHILLIPS Acting Principal HAZEL MALCOLMSON JENSEN LING
SOPRANO CHELSEA BACCAY ALISA CASSOLA SIRGOURNEY COOK MOLLY CROOKEDACRE KELLEY HOLLIS JESSICA JACOBS TAMRA GRACE JONES MARIE MCCARVILLE BRIANNA J. ROBINSON RACHELE SCHMIEGE ABIGAIL SMITH EMMA SORENSON JULIA WOLCOTT ISABELLE ZELEDON
FRENCH HORN WHITACRE HILL Acting Principal DIRK HILLYER CLARK MATTHEWS IRIS ROSENSTEIN
ALTO JESSICA JOHNSON BROCK HEATHER GALLAGHER KIRSTEN HART HELEN HASSINGER
TRUMPET TERRY EVERSON Acting Principal JESSE LEVINE GREG WHITAKER
TROMBONE JOHN FAIETA Acting Principal ALEXEI DOOHOVSKOY DONALD ROBINSON
MATTHEW BARRETT-MILLER CAROLINE BERGWALL JOHN BUCY JOSÉ CABRERA
TUBA TAKATSUGU HAGIWARA Acting Principal
HARP INA ZDOROVETCHI Principal DIGITAL PIANO NATHAN SALAZAR KEYBOARD BRETT HODGDON TIMPANI ROBERT SCHULZ Acting Principal PERCUSSION WILLIAM MANLEY Acting Principal GREGORY SIMONDS
20 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
JESSINE JOHNSON ELIZABETH KINDER JAIME KORKOS JOANNA POPE ARIELLE ROGERS VANESSA SCHUKIS TENOR ETHAN BREMNER CHRISTON CARNEY CHRIS MAHER FRED VAN NESS BASS JORGEANDRÉS CAMARGO JUNHAN CHOI KAMIL EKINCI FRED FURNARI TAYLOR HORNER MICHAEL MILLER DEVON RUSSO RON WILLIAMS
BECCA FREEMAN LIANA GENOUD MICHAEL KELLY MEAGHAN ROBICHAUD
The Artists and Stage Managers employed on these productions are members of the American Guild of Musical Artists. All musicians are members of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. The scenic, costume, and lighting designers are members of United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Stagehands are represented by Local #11 of IATSE. Boston Lyric Opera is a member of OPERA America, the national service organization for opera in the U.S. and Canada.
Daniel B. Chapman Production & Technical Manager Cynthia Hennon Marino Stage Manager Melanie Bacaling Assistant Stage Manager Julie Marie Langevin Assistant Stage Manager Bruno Baker Production Assistant Bethany Weed Production Department Assistant Lisa Berg Props Master Maxx Finn Assistant Lighting Designer Austin Boyle Lighting Director Charles Neumann Associate Costume Designer Gail Buckley Costume Supervisor Ashley Callahan Associate Wig & Makeup Designer SooA Kim Associate Video Designer Eliot Bayless Video Technician Renee Goudreau Audio Technician Satrina Massey Surtitle Operator Ashton Bush Music Librarian Maynard Goldman Orchestra Personnel Manager Jane Pisciottoli Papa Child Wrangler Costumes built by Costume Works
Brendan Ritchie Head Production Carpenter Patrick Barrett First Assistant Production Carpenter Brian Willis Second Assistant Production Carpenter Michael Gottke Head Production Electrician Donald King First Assistant Production Electrician John Sullivan Second Assistant Production Electrician Becky (Rebecca) Marsh Light Board Programmer Emily Picot Head of Production Properties Hilliary Kramer First Assistant of Production Properties Dianna Reardon Wardrobe Supervisor
IN CELEBRATION OF STANFORD CALDERWOOD GENERAL & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ESTHER NELSONâ€™S 10TH SEASON FEBRUARY 22 | 2020 THE STATE ROOM | BOSTON Featuring thrilling performances from BLO artists, exquisite dining, and an unparalleled city view.
SAVE THE DATE | #EN10
FOR SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION, TICKETS, OR OTHER INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT BLO AT EVENTS@BLO.ORG
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 21
ABOUT BOSTON LYRIC OPERA Both locally and beyond, Boston Lyric Opera leads the way in celebrating the art of the voice through innovative programming and community engagement initiatives that redefine the operagoing experience. Under the vibrant leadership of Stanford Calderwood General & Artistic Director Esther Nelson, BLO’s productions have been described by the magazine Musical America as “part of the national dialogue” because of their role as entry points for new audiences. The New York Times observed that BLO “clearly intends [its productions] to catch the interest of operagoers around the country.” This view is shared by the nearly 25,000 people who experience BLO each year through dynamic performances, extensive partnerships with leading cultural organizations, and programs throughout our vastly diverse and exuberant community. BLO’s programming remains faithful to tradition while blazing new ground, building audiences, and creating new ways to enhance the opera-going experience. BLO’s Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artists hone their craft and prepare to expand their careers to other worldleading stages. And BLO’s wide-reaching education initiatives introduce opera to new audiences across generations. Through your support and attendance, BLO employs nearly 350 artists and creative professionals annually—vocalists, artisans, stagehands, costumers, and scenic designers—many of whom are members of our own community. The Company is proud to play a significant and meaningful role in Boston’s vibrant arts community.
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA STAFF
Esther Nelson Stanford Calderwood General & Artistic Director David Angus Music Director John Conklin Artistic Advisor
Sharon Barry Katie Bauer Allyson Bennett Pam Borys Laima Bobelis Lynn Bregman Jane Cammack Susan Cavalieri Caroline Cole Michelle Chen Ann D’Angelo Karla De Greef Marsha dePoo Mary DePoto Frances Driscoll Marian Ead Lee Forgosh Erin Frey Audley Fuller Linda George Mencken Graham Rachel Hahn Christine Hauray-Gilbert James Karg Eva Karger Milling Kinard Esther Lable Daniel Levin Richard Leccese Nancy Lynn Domenico Mastrototaro Patti McGovern Anne McGuire Meg Morton Kameel Nasr Gail Neff Cosmo and Jane Papa Barbara Papesch Manitari Araceli-Patterson Jeffrey Penta Nikta Sabouri Elizabeth Sarafian Colin Sheehan Alexandra (Sasha) Sherman Yamel Rizk Barbara Trachtenberg Amy Walba Gerry Weisenberg Kenneth Westhassel Beverly Wiggins Debra Wiess Alfred Williams Lynn Williams Sybil Williams
ARTISTIC Nicholas G. Russell Director of Artistic Operations Andrew Eggert Artistic Manager Zachary Calhoun Auditions Coordinator Sydney Mukasa Artistic Associate PRODUCTION Anna B. Labykina Production & Technical Director Samantha Layco Production Operations Manager Patrick McGovern Associate Technical Director Jessica Pfau Master Carpenter William “Billy” Douglass Carpenter Thomas Farrell Carpenter Julia Noulin-Mérat Associate Producer FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Karen T. Frost Director of Finance and Administration David J. Cullen Accounting Manager Reingard Heller Finance Manager Steven Atwater Senior Accountant Elisabeth Layne Finance & Office Coordinator Lizabeth Malanga Executive Assistant to the Stanford Calderwoord General & Artistic Director EXTERNAL RELATIONS Eileen Nugent Williston Managing Director Sarah B. Blume Director of Major Gifts Cathy Emmons Director of Institutional Gifts Robin Whitney Development and Outreach Manager Jayne Gallagher External Relations Coordinator Ashley Daugherty Development Coordinator Molly O’Keefe Patron Relations Associate Jeila Irdmusa Marketing & Communications Manager Madison Florence Marketing & Communications Coordinator JMK PR Public Relations Rebecca Kittredge Audience Services Manager Bailey Kerr Patron Services Associate Lacey Upton Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Kirk Manager of Education Programs Sara O’Brien Events Manager Patricia Au Resident Teaching Artist Lydia Jane Graeff Resident Teaching Artist IRN Internet Services Website Leapfrog Arts Graphic Design As of April 24, 2019
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Boston Lyric Opera extends its gratitude to the following vendors, partners, individuals, community organizations, and school partners for their extraordinary courtesy in making our 2018/19 Season possible: 4Wall Entertainment | Rui Alves, Mike Texeira Above Summit Acentech, Inc. | Carl Rosenberg, Ben Markham Alexander Aronson Finning American Repertory Theater Artists for Humanity ArtsBoston Backstage Hardware Bantam Cider Company Be Our Guest, Inc. Susan Bennett, M.D., Company Physician, Consultant, Associate Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital BG Events and Catering BOCA Systems Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Boston Center for the Arts | Gregory Ruffer Boston Public Library Boston Public Schools Visual & Performing Arts Office Caffé Nero Cartage America | Tim Riley Casa Myrna Chandler Inn Charcoalblue LLP | Andy Hayles, Gary Sparkes, John Owens City Winery Coastal Advisory | Tom Lynch Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP | Andrew Eisenberg, Will Krasnow Costume Works, Inc. | Liz Perlman C3 Commercial Construction Consulting, Inc. | Doug Anderson Dyenamix, Inc. East Cambridge Piano | James Nicoloro Elderhostel, Inc. | Road Scholar Eric Antoniou Photography Explorateur Films Around the World, Inc. | Alexander W. Kogan, Jr. Fleur Events Furnished Quarters | Annette Clement Louis A. Gentile Piano Service Goldstar Gourmet Caterers Grand Image Inc. | Tamir Luria, Shane Bandzul Timothy Hamilton Harvard University Athletics | Robert “Bob” Scalise, Nick Majocha High Output Inc. | Jim Hirsch Mark Howard Hub International Hubspot, Inc.
HUM Properties | Casey Smith The HYM Investment Group IATSE Local #11 JACET | Colleen Glynn IRN Internet Services | Jay Williston Jayne’s Flowers Inc. JMK PR Krostyne Studio Leapfrog Arts | Melissa Wagner-O’Malley Legal Sea Foods, Inc. Liza Voll Photography Maggiano’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation | Nick Connors mindSHIFT Technologies Inc. Mitel Myles Standish Business Condominiums NEPS Primary Freight New England Conservatory of Music New England Professional Systems | Bill Miller Pabu Production Advantage Opus Affair | Graham Wright Oregon Shakespeare Festival ProPrint Boston Quality Graphics, Inc. Robert Silman Associates Structural Engineers | Michael Auren, Ben Rosenberg Rosebrand Inc. Ryder Transportation Santander Scalped Productions Sentinel Group | Denise Roney Seyfarth Shaw LLP | Brian Michaelis StageSource Starburst Printing | Jason Grondin Stoddard's Fine Food and Ale The Strategy Group TeamOps Tessitura TDF | Theatre Development Fund Toshiba, Corp. | Cheryl Hayford, Todd Tweedie United Staging & Rigging | Eric Frishman Vantage Technology Consulting Group | Geoffrey Tritsch Bradley Vernatter VOICES Boston WBUR WGBH/WCRB
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 23
DONOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We are honored to recognize our donors who generously support the mission of Boston Lyric Opera to build curiosity, enthusiasm, and support for opera by creating musically and theatrically compelling productions, events, and educational resources for our community and beyond. We are deeply grateful for the following contributions made to BLO between July 1, 2017 and April 12, 2019. • FRIENDS OF BLO | The largest community of supporters of Boston Lyric Opera. Members enjoy exclusive opportunities to explore opera and engage with others who share their passion through benefits such as invitations to Deconstructing Opera Salons, backstage tours, final dress rehearsals and more. • ORFEO SOCIETY | Members gain behind-the-scenes access to BLO Artists and Creative Team members, while providing direct support to bring opera to our stages and communities. • THE GOLDOVSKY SOCIETY | Membership is given in recognition of those who have made a provision in a will, living trust, deferred gift plan, or retirement plan that will benefit BLO. For more information or to become a member, please call Sarah B. Blume at 617.702.8974. CRESCENDO ($100,000+) Jane & Steven Akin* Linda Cabot Black*§ Willa & Taylor Bodman*† Alicia Cooney & Stephen Quigley*§ Ms. RoAnn Costin Wayne Davis & Ann Merrifield*§† Jody & Tom Gill*† Jane & Jeffrey Marshall* Miss Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation The Montrone Family Mr. & Mrs. E. Lee Perry*†
William & Helen Pounds*† David & Marie Louise Scudder*§† Wendy Shattuck & Sam Plimpton* Mr. & Mrs. Ray Stata* Sandra A. Urie & Frank F. Herron VIVACE ($50,000 - $99,999) Timothy Blodgett Miguel & Suki de Bragança* Nonnie & Rick Burnes*§† Gerard & Sherryl Cohen Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP Susan W. Jacobs*†
ALLEGRO ($10,000 - $24,999) Jeannie Ackerman Curhan & Joseph C. Williams Anonymous (1) Lynn Dale & Frank Wisneski Landis Becker Young & Ms. Tania Zouikin*§ Bracebridge H. Young Boston Foundation ADAGIO ($5,000 - $9,999) Edmund & Betsy Cabot Charitable Anonymous (2) Foundation Sam & Nancy Altschuler Ms. Ellen Cabot* The Amphion Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Timothy & Jessica Donohue* Sarah E. Ashby* Ms. Catherine Dunn Ms. Ann Beha & Mr. Robert A. Radloff Lawrence & Atsuko Fish The Bell Family, in memory of Mr. Kenneth Freed Dr. Peggy Bell* Dr. Kathleen Hull & Ernest Jacob*† Ms. Kimberly E. Balfour* Horace H. Irvine II*§ Carolyn Bitetti & T. Christopher Donnelly Mr. & Mrs. Edward C. Johnson Ms. Jane Carr & Mr. Andrew Hertig Ellen & Robert Kaplan*§† Marjorie B. & Martin Cohn Ms. Amelia Katzen*† Corning Incorporated Foundation Joe & Pam LoDato*§ Dr. Amos Deinard* Dr. Joseph & Mrs. Anita Loscalzo* Dr. Charles Dickinson & MEDITECH Ms. JoAnne Dickinson* Gregory E. Moore & Wynne W. Szeto* Dr. Nicholas J. DiMauro Esther Nelson & Bernd Ulken BPS Arts Expansion Fund at EdVestors OPERA America Mr. Eijmberts & Mr. Tinga Anne B. Popkin Kathryn G. Freed, in memory of John & Susanne Potts* Dean & Patti Freed§ Allison K. Ryder & David B. Jones* Lise Olney & Tim Fulham* Larry & Beverly St. Clair* Dr. Alfred Goldberg & State Street Corporation Dr. Joan Goldberg Susan A. Babson Opera Fund for Dr. Kurt D. Gress & Emerging Artists Mr. Samuel Y. Parkinson* Lady Juliet & Dr. Christopher Tadgell* Nick & Marjorie Greville John H. Deknatel & Carol M. Taylor Kathy & Ron Groves Peter Wender*§ Graham & Ann Gund 24 | BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Pamela S. Kunkemueller*§‡ Marie I. Stultz Revocable Trust Abigail B. Mason*§ Massachusetts Cultural Council Mattina R. Proctor Foundation Mr. & Mrs. A. Neil Pappalardo* Mr. & Mrs. Michael Puzo*§† PRESTO ($25,000 - $49,999) Anonymous (1) Katie & Paul Buttenwieser Cabot Family Charitable Trust Alan & Lisa Dynner*§
Harold Alfond Foundation David Hoffman & Deborah Friedman* Emily C. Hood Amy Hunter & Steven Maguire*§ William A. Hunter & Barbara Bradlee Hunter Ms. Louise Johnson* Stephen Kunian* Mr. Edward J. Leary† Drs. Lynne & Sidney Levitsky Karen Levy David B. Manning* Ms. M. Lynne Markus*§ Judith K. Marquis & Keith F. Nelson Jillian C. McGrath* Karen E. McShane, MD Mr. & Mrs. John O'Brien Mr. & Mrs. Richard Olney III Barbara Goodwin Papesch Suzanne & Peter Read§ Stephen & Geraldine Ricci Mr. Carl Rosenberg* Ms. Carol Rubin* Rumena & Alex Senchak* Andrew Sherman & Russ Lopez*§ Mr. Jan Steenbrugge & Ms. Young-Shin Choi Mr. & Mrs. Frank Tempesta* Mr. Richard Trant* GRAZIOSO ($3,000 - $4,999) Anonymous (2) Michael Barza & Judith Robinson Drs. Susan E. Bennett & Gerald B. Pier
Robert Eastman*§† Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Karen Johansen & Gardner Hendrie Mimi Hewlett*§ Mr. & Mrs. Amos B. Hostetter, Jr. Maria Krokidas & Bruce Bullen* Anne M. Morgan*† National Endowment for the Arts Janet & Irv Plotkin*† Schwab Charitable Fund Susan & Dennis Shapiro* Dr. Robert Walsh & Lydia Kenton Walsh*
Ronald & Ellen Brown Mr. Arthur Buckland Mr. & Mrs. Lewis Cabot Nancy & Laury Coolidge Tamara P. & Charles H. Davis II§ Eli Lilly & Company Foundation, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Ron Feinstein Mr. & Mrs. Dozier Gardner Mr. Joseph Hammer§ Mr. & Mrs. Morton Hoffman Dr. Maydee G. Lande, in memory of her father Mr. Louis Lévy, in memory of Joce Ledeuil* Richard & Nadine Lindzen Ms. Amy Merrill Jo Frances & John Meyer Shari & Christopher Noe D. Cosmo & Jane P. Papa* Mr. Winfield Perry, in memory of Shirley & Kenneth Perry Dr. & Mrs. John William Poduska, Sr. William & Lia Poorvu Carol & Frank Porcelli Melinda & James Rabb Deborah Rose & Dr. Noel Rose Dr. Jordan S. Ruboy Charitable Fund§‡ Dr. & Mrs. R. Michael Scott Mr. & Mrs. Jeremiah Shafir David Shukis & Susan Blair Lise & Myles Striar Tee Taggart & Jack Turner Mr. Thaemert & Mr. Gokey
Ms. Amy Tsurumi* UBS Financial Services, Inc. Tanya & David Virnelli George & Moira Yip PRODUCER ($1,500 - $2,999) Alliance Bernstein Matching Gift Program Anchor Capital Advisors John & Molly Beard Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc. Boston Cultural Council Ms. Kathleen Boyce Mr. & Mrs. John Cabot Judge & Mrs. Levin H. Campbell Mark H. Dalzell & James Dao-Dalzell Laura Dike & Vaughn Miller Andrew L. Eisenberg* RADM & Mrs. S. David Frost Stefan & Sonchu Gavell Dr. David Golan & Dr. Laura Green Mark Kritzman & Elizabeth Gorman Arthur & Eloise Hodges Mrs. Charles Hood Doris & Howard Hunter Mr. & Mrs. C. Bruce Johnstone, in honor of Steve & Jane Akin Eva R. Karger§ Mr. Joseph Mari Dr. Harold Michlewitz Mary & Sherif Nada*§ Mr. Carl R. Nold & Ms. Vicky Kruckeberg Robert & Carolyn Osteen Mr. & Mrs. Richard S. Perkins, Jr. Max & Meredith Russell Mr. Jonathan F. Saxton & Ms. Barbara Fox Mr. & Mrs. Lionel Spiro State Street Foundation Mr. John Whittlesey Mr. Michael Wyzga & Ms. Judy Ozbun PARTNER ($500 - $1,499) Anonymous (3) A.V. Presentations, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Dana Bartholomew John Belchers Mr. Martin S. Berman, in memory of Lila Gross Mr. Clark Bernard Leonard & Jane Bernstein
MK Bertelli Ms. Sophie Cabot Black Dr. Paul Bleicher & Dr. Julia Greenstein Mr. & Mrs. Kenyon C. Bolton III Dorothy & Hale Bradt Ed & Amy Brakeman Peter Braun & Diane Katzenberg Braun John & Irene Briedis Pam & Lee Bromberg David W. Brown Thomas Burger & Andree Robert Samuel & Claire Cabot Timothy & Sara Cabot Susan Cavalieri, in memory of Eurydice Cavalieri Ms. Mei Po Cheung Rachel & Thomas Claflin Ms. Nina Cohen Mr. Eugene Cox Gene & Lloyd Dahmen Mr. Terry O. Decima Janice Mancini Del Sesto, in memory of Dorothy Arnold§ Mr. James DeVeer Mr. Lawrence M. Devito Mr. & Mrs. Myron J. Dickerman Dr. & Mrs. David B. Doolittle Ms. Jennifer Eckert Marie-Pierre & Michael Ellmann Drs. Martin Elvis & Giuseppina Fabbiano§ Mr. Edward N. Gadsby Mrs. G. Peabody Gardner, in honor of Mr. & Mrs. E Lee Perry GE Foundation Lucretia Giese‡ Mr. Walter Gilbert Dr. & Mrs. William E. Goldberg Paul Golden Mark Goodman & Jennifer Cope Goodman Pamela & Alan Goodman Google, Inc. Mr. Stephen Grubaugh & Ms. Carol McGeehan Dr. Charles Haffajee Anne & Neil Harper Ms. Bette Ann Harris Mr. & Mrs. John Henn† Dr. Robert Henry
Mr. Joseph M. Herlihy Robert & Stephanie Hood Mr. Henry B. Hoover, Jr. Fred Hoppin Mr. Ted & the Rev. Canon Cynthia P. Hubbard Thomas & Cynthia Kazior Mr. Stanley Keller Mr. John Michael Kennedy Milling Kinard Dr. David Korn & Carol Scheman Ms. Yuriko Kuwabara & Dr. Sunny Dzik Pam Lassiter Mr. & Mrs. Boardman Lloyd Tod Machover & June Kinoshita Peter Madsen Mr. Domenico Mastrototaro§ Dr. Edward McCall Mary & Michael McConnell Kate Meany Ms. Virginia Meany Mr. Adam G. Neilly Melissa & David Norton Prof. Suzanne P. Ogden Jack Osgood§‡ Finley & Patricia Perry Pamela E. Pinsky Memorial at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation‡ Mr. & Mrs. James Post Mr. & Mrs. Patrick & Ute Prevost Clay & Emily Rives Dr. & Mrs. Edward Roberts Ms. Patricia Rosenblatt Simon Rosenthal & Nouri Newman Elizabeth Ross & William O'Reilly Stephen & Peg Senturia JoAnne & Joel Shapiro Lisa G. Shaw Sayre Sheldon Ms. Sandra Steele & Mr. Paul Greenfield Mr. John Stevens & Ms. Virginia McIntyre Ms. Beth Sullivan Susan A. & Donald P. Babson Charitable Foundation Ms. Roberta Sydney & Mr. Jordan Rich Mr. Andrew Szentgyorgyi Edward H. Tate II
Diane C. Tillotson Michael Tomich‡ Mrs. Wat Tyler Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Walter H. Weld Leonce Welt Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Winthrop Aniki Wisser Mr. & Ms. Douglas Woodlock Mr. & Mrs. Robert Wulff Dr. Ioannis Yannas Albert & Judith Zabin CONTRIBUTOR ($250 - $499) Anonymous (4) Mr. Peter Ambler & Ms. Lindsay Miller Mr. Bernard Aserkoff Marc & Carol Bard Mr. John Barstow & Ms. Eugenia Ware Dr. & Mrs. Robert M. Beazley Dr. & Mrs. Martin Becker‡ Nina & Donald Berk Deborah B. Davis Mr. Andrew Binns Ms. Elizabeth Bjorkman Dr. Roger Boshes Ms. Christine Bradt Ms. Sally T. Brewster Jennifer L. Hochschild & C. Anthony Broh Ms. Katherine Cain Ms. Mary Chamberlain Ms. Elisabeth Clark Cary Coen, in honor of Gerry & Sherri Cohen A. Paul Cravedi, in memory of Anna Cravedi James F. Crowley, Jr. Rita Cuker Mr. Paul Curtis Mr. Mark Donohoe Willis & Zach Durant-Emmons Bill & Susan Elsbree Andrew & Karen Epstein Robert & Iris Fanger Family Foundation Mr. Bruce Feibel Mr. & Mrs. Glenn L. Fencer Mr. William Fregosi Sarah Gallivan & Gopal Kadagathur Mark C. Gebhardt, MD & Kristi L. Griffin Mr. Clayton Geiger
IN MEMORIAM The Company lost some of its most valiant supporters over the past year. We will greatly miss Boston Lyric Opera Board Member Pamela S. Kunkemueller, as well as Dorothy Arnold and Mary Barger, the spouses of previous Board Members David Arnold and J.P. Barger, respectively, to whom we owe a debt of service. Lucretia Giese Mary Kakas Mrs. William Malcom Mrs. Stephen McCarthy Patricia McNally Geoffrey and Clare Nunes
Jack Osgood Martin Owens Daniel Palant Prof. Peter P. Rogers Arthur Schatz Robert Silman
Elizabeth Sluder Mrs. William Sweet Michael Tomich Gilbert Woolley Florence Frances-Yaras
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 2019 | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | 25
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Dr. Martin Becker Eric Birch Thomas D. Cabot, Jr. Jill Conway George Cuker Barbara Currie
Mr. James Glazier Dr. Philip L. Goldsmith & Melissa Boshco Laurie Gould & Stephen Ansolabehere Mr. Daniel Halston Sylvia Hammer Mr. & Mrs. James J. Harper Mr. John Hauser Mr. Thomas Hotaling Investment Technology Group Ms. Ann Johnson Robert Kauffman & Susan Porter Jeri Lardy
Ricardo & Marla Lewitus Mr. Charles Maier Dr. Nicholas & Mrs. Charlotte Mastroianni Mr. Arthur Mattuck James & Caroline McCloy Mr. & Mrs. Kilmer McCully Margaret McDormand, in memory of Anna Elizabeth McDormand Claudia J. Morner & Leonard S. Jones Curiosity Foundation Mr. William Pananos Enid Ricardo Quiñones & Wendy Blackfield Quiñones
Mr. Jack Reynolds Jim & Sandy Righter Donald & Abby Rosenfeld Ms. Penny Rossano Mark & Lori Roux Varda & Dr. Israel Shaked Dr. George L. Sigalos Mr. & Ms. Matthew Stewart Ms. Joan Suit Marcos & Faith Szydlo John & Mary Tarvin Ms. Ann Teixeira Ms. Antra Thrasher
Dr. Ed Tronick Mr. Konstantin Tyurin & Ms. Kirstin Ilse Linda & Harvey Weiner Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Weinstein Mr. Jerry Wheelock & Elizabeth Wood Mr. Stephen Wohler Ms. Mary Wolfson
GOLDOVSKY SOCIETY By remembering Boston Lyric Opera with a bequest or other planned gift, members of the Goldovsky Society create living legacies that will influence and support the Company and its artists for generations to come. The name of the Society was inspired by Boris Goldovsky, a visionary teacher, stage director, conductor, and impresario with national and Boston ties to opera. His pioneering work profoundly influenced generations of artists and shaped the performance and popularity of opera in America. To ensure that your support continues to benefit Boston Lyric Opera for generations to come, please contact Sarah B. Blume at 617.542.4912 x2280. Anonymous (2) Ms. Diana Abrashkin Dorothy & David Arnold‡ Linda Cabot Black* Mr. Roger Brightbill‡ Nonnie & Rick Burnes* Mr. David Cole-Rous & Ms. Norma Greenberg Alicia Cooney* Tim Daughters Tamara P. & Charles H. Davis II Wayne Davis & Ann Merrifield* Janice Mancini Del Sesto Ann Lyons Dolan Mr. Dan Duro Alan & Lisa Dynner*
Margaret Eagle & Eli Rapaport Robert Eastman* Drs. Martin Elvis & Giuseppina Fabbiano Ms. Anne Ewers Mr. & Mrs. Dean Freed‡ Kathryn G. Freed Catherine & Frederick Grein Gillian Stuart Hamer Mr. Joseph Hammer Mimi Hewlett* Amy Hunter & Steven Maguire* Horace H. Irvine II* Ellen & Robert Kaplan* Eva R. Karger Courtney Keller
Ms. Mary Kiley Pamela S. Kunkemueller*‡ Mr. David Latham Joe & Pam LoDato* Andrew Sherman & Russ Lopez* Mr. Stephen Lord Ms. M. Lynne Markus* Christopher Marrion Ms. Abigail Mason* Mr. Domenico Mastrototaro Richard S. Milstein, Esq. Mary & Sherif Nada Ms. Katharine Nash Jack Osgood‡ Shirley Perry‡ Dr. E.C. Pierce‡
Sandy & Herb Pollack Mr. & Mrs. Michael Puzo* Suzanne & Peter Read Dr. Freda Rebelsky‡ Dr. Jordan S. Ruboy Charitable Fund‡ Stephen & Iris Taymore Schnitzer David & Marie Louise Scudder* Mrs. Lois Silverman Mr. Michael Tronic Peter Wender* Mrs. Marillyn Zacharis Ms. Tania Zouikin*
* Board Member | † Lyric Circle Member | § Goldovsky Society Member | ‡ Deceased
INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS Boston Lyric Opera’s programs are funded, in part, by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
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“BECAUSE I’M TELLING YOU THIS STORY I WILL YOUR EXISTENCE. I TELL, THEREFORE YOU ARE. SO I WILL GO ON.” - MARGARET ATWOOD, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
THE HANDMAID’S CIRCLE PREMIERE SPONSORSHIP
BLO is grateful for the support of a number of Boston’s business and community leaders who have committed to funding and promoting this extraordinary opera. The effort has generated gifts with a goal of $500,000 in support of this new production. Boston Lyric Opera is deeply grateful for the fundraising and advocacy of the Handmaid’s Circle in supporting the many elements that have made this production monumental, including but not limited to: • A new edition by composer Poul Ruders, commissioned by BLO • BLO’s largest-scale installation to date, here in the Lavietes Pavilion at Harvard University • Over 130 artists, including cast, creative team, orchestra, and chorus Please see the insert in your program for an up-to-date list of all members of the Handmaid’s Circle. To add your gift to this chorus of support, please contact Sarah B. Blume at 617.702.8974.
THE MAYDAY RESISTANCE:
50 FREE STUDENT TICKETS FOR EVERY PERFORMANCE OF THE HANDMAID’S TALE The sponsorship of the Handmaid's Circle has helped support a special student tickets initiative, encouraging access and engagement in opera. BLO is proudly offering 50 free tickets to students to each performance of The Handmaid’s Tale, a total of 200 tickets across the production. Students may sign up via an online form to reserve tickets in advance and bring a student ID to pick up. LEARN MORE & SHARE THE IMPACT OF OPERA WITH THE NEXT GENERATION.
LIZA VOLL PHOTOGRAPHY
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PERFORMANCE & VENUE INFORMATION All performances begin on time. At the request of our patrons, Boston Lyric Opera observes the national opera standard of a no late seating policy. Additionally, if you must leave during the performance, reentry may be prohibited. While we understand that traffic conditions, public transportation, weather and other factors can have unexpected effects on your arrival, we wish to minimize disruptions for our seated patrons and for our artists on stage. As a courtesy to the artists and for the comfort of those around you, please turn off mobile phones, watch alarms, and other devices with audible signals prior to the start of the performance. The use of cameras or recording devices in the theatre is strictly prohibited. For information on Boston Lyric Opera productions, subscriptions and tickets, visit BLO.org or call BLO Audience Services at 617.542.6772, M - F | 10 - 5.
RAY LAVIETES PAVILION HARVARD UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS COMPLEX ACCESSIBILITY: The Lavietes Pavilion can accommodate both wheelchair and companion seating. Restrooms are located on the main level. Assisted listening devices are available at the box office. VENUE INFORMATION: Ray Lavietes Pavilion | Harvard University Athletics Complex | 65 North Harvard Street | Boston, MA 02134 | (617) 495-3454 | GoCrimson.com This is not a Harvard University event and is not controlled, presented, or supervised by Harvard University or any of its schools or programs. FIRE EXIT PLANS: For your own safety, please take a moment to view the exits.
BOSTON IS AN OPERA TOWN Whether youâ€™re an opera lover or an opera novice, we invite you to explore and experience the work of this unique and vibrant art form taking place in our city.
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SOME DERFUL! N O W S A “IT W LLY HAVE A U S U S D I LVED OF THE K NG INVO I Y A T S T TROUBLE ANCE, BU M R O F R E WITH A P M, AND RED THE U T P A C ME YOU OY ASKED B R E D L ERA AN O Y OF OP R O T S I H WAS ABOUT A ARD. IT W R E T F K [BOOK] A AM, THAN R G O R P A GREAT ibrarian ildren’s L h C – !” YOU
“We all had a great time, especially my daughter!” – Parent
OPERA IN THE SCHOOLS!
This February, BLO Education brought two singers, a pianist, and a teaching artist into 23 Schools and Boston Public Library Branches in 23 days! We introduced opera to nearly 1,600 youth and families, presenting The Barber of Seville in a highly interactive and participatory performance. INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING BLO’S PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH? LEARN MORE AT BLO.ORG/GIVE, OR CALL US AT 617.702.8975. “It was fun, had movement and engagement, and was just the right length for their attention span. It was a great student introduction to the world of opera. Thank you!” – Music Teacher
“THEIR VOI CE WERE SO G S OOD!” – 4 th Grade St udent
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THANK YOU TO WBUR! BLO was honored to collaborate with WBUR and the new CitySpace to hold a public conversation between The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, composer Poul Ruders, and WBUR Senior Editor Maria Garcia.
THE HANDMAID’S ARIA: HOW AN ICONIC NOVEL BECAME AN OPERA MAY 4, 2019 AT 4PM
Thank you for helping to make Boston a thriving place for art, culture, and conversation.
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PAGLIACCI SEP 27 - OCT 6 FELLOW TRAVELERS NOV 13 - 17 NORMA MAR 13 - 22 GIULIO CESARE MAY 8 - 17 BOXOFFICE@BLO.ORG | BLO.ORG | GET SOCIAL WITH BLO | QED AUDIENCE SERVICES: MON – FRI | 10AM – 5PM | 617.542.6772
BLO is grateful for the support of a number of Boston’s business and community leaders who have committed to funding and promoting this extraordinary opera. The effort has generated gifts with a goal of $500,000 in support of this new production. SANDRA A. URIE & FRANK HERRON ALICIA COONEY LANDIS BECKER YOUNG & BRACE YOUNG
ROANN COSTIN ABIGAIL B. MASON ANNE B. POPKIN ALLISON K. RYDER & DAVID B. JONES
WE ALSO WISH TO THANK: SUSAN ESCO CHANDLER, SANDRA MOOSE, ANNE M. MORGAN, AND TANYA & DAVID VIRNELLI
BLO would like to thank the following event partners for their support of this production of The Handmaid’s Tale. 4WALL ENTERTAINMENT BANTAM CIDER COMPANY BG EVENTS & CATERING CAPRON LIGHTING & SOUND CO., INC. CENTERPLATE FILIPPO RISTORANTE HARVARD UNIVERSITY MISTRAL PEAK EVENT SERVICES
I read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale when it was first published in the mid-1980s. I could not put it down. It was compelling. While for some it stretched the limits of credulity, for me it seemed entirely possible that under certain circumstances a male-dominated tyrannical theocracy could indeed emerge, a frightening vision. This year I was compelled to pick Offred’s story up once more, but in a different way. I was approached by BLO and invited to help bring The Handmaid’s Tale to life right here at Harvard, so close to where the seed of the story took root. I jumped at the chance. I believe that it is important to support and celebrate the arts. They reflect the full range of our human experience and importantly, bring us together to share in those experiences, engage in conversation, and discover new things about our world and ourselves. Thank you to my fellow Handmaid’s Circle supporters, to BLO for this amazing installation, and to all of you for joining us today. By hearing Offred’s story together, I hope we make it a little less possible and carry with us the beauty of these words and this music. - SANDRA A. URIE
Please note that this production utilizes violent and sexual imagery, including pornography; prop guns; and several audio and special effects, including recorded gunshots, a buzzer, flashing lights, and loud sounds. Due to the nature of this production, any patrons who leave their seats during the performance may not be able to return to their original seat.
BLO.ORG | #HANDMAIDSBLO
Boston Lyric Opera | THE HANDMAID'S TALE | A New Production | May 5-12, 2019