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New production March 14–23 | 2014

Esther Nelson, General & Artistic Director


David Angus, Music Director


John Conklin, Artistic Advisor

Esther Nelson, General & Artistic Director

2013/14 A Season of All New Productions


I Puritani

New Production May 2–11 | 2014 Citi Performing Arts Center℠ Shubert Theatre Elvira has been promised to one man, but loves another. When she believes the object of her affection has betrayed her, she descends into madness. Bellini’s bel canto gem unfolds during a tumultuous English civil war and features achingly beautiful music and mad scenes filled with pathos. The central roles of the tragic lovers feature two singers acclaimed for their appearances in BLO’s The Barber of Seville; John Tessier and Sarah Coburn, whose vocal gifts are perfectly suited to Elvira’s tour de force soprano arias. Troy Cook and Paul Whelan sing the roles of the powerful men who oppose them.

Sarah Coburn

John Tessier | | 617.542.6772

Welcome Welcome to the premiere of our new Rigoletto production. As I write this, our creative team is applying the finishing touches. After the Boston performances this production will move on to our co-producers: The Atlanta Opera and Opera Omaha. It will also enjoy future performances around the nation. For a long time now stage director Tomer Zvulun, together with our Music Director David Angus, set designer John Conklin, and costume designer Victoria Tzykun, have immersed themselves in the music and dramaturgy of Rigoletto. Verdi based his opera on Victor Hugo's dark play Le Roi S'amuse, a subject that gripped him with the same power as Macbeth had earlier. He composed this opera in just a few weeks with relentless creative energy. The result is one of the most powerful and emotionally draining operas in the repertoire. Verdi’s work was not done, however. He and his librettist, Francesco Piave, endured a long period of frustrating cuts and revisions demanded by the censors, but Rigoletto ultimately marked Verdi's greatest victory over them. Such censorship power seems astonishing to us today, as does the then-common practice of theater directors feeling free to fundamentally and arbitrarily "improve" the text, even the opera's title, music, and/or characters, including the alteration of entire scenes. Composers and librettists have always understood that their operas are subject to different interpretations and cuts, depending on the theaters, performers, audiences, and times, but the wholesale changes to which some of their works were subjected in previous centuries would outrage even the most adventurous opera directors of today. Hovering above our set is the remote image of an unobtainable ideal city, based on a painting by Piero della Francesca. Below, we find ourselves drawn into the glittery, corrupt court and that of a sinister, dark world around it. We have decided to leave the opera in its Renaissance time period. For Verdi, and for Hugo, the curse of a father whose daughter had been ravished was central to the drama. It is often difficult in an updated setting to credibly portray the terror such a curse would have unleashed. Also, the tragedy of Rigoletto’s deformity, and thus having to survive as a court buffoon, does not have the same impact in a later society. According to Verdi, Rigoletto is "grossly deformed and absurd but inwardly passionate and full of love." Join us in welcoming the Italian-based American conductor Christopher Franklin, who is making his debut with us. We are also pleased to once again offer you an extraordinary cast of major guest artists as well as a roster of our Emerging Artists. We hope that you will cheer them on through a special Challenge opportunity and make the Friends of BLO the official sponsors for next Season’s opener, an exciting new production of an opera favorite! Your gift will be matched by our Board of Directors. I look forward to seeing you in the lobby or at our next opera, I Puritani, which reunites the stars from our popular recent The Barber of Seville, Sarah Coburn and John Tessier.

The Duke, costume design by Victoria Tzykun

PROGRAM contents Welcome 1 Board of Directors 5 A Conversation with Sarah Coburn by Richard Dyer 6 BLO Presents Rigoletto 8 Meet the Artists 9 Orchestra, Chorus & Acknowledgments 12 BLO & Production Staff 13 Production History of Rigoletto by Magda Romanska 15 Education and Community Events 16

Esther Nelson General & Artistic Director

BLO's Version of Rigoletto by Magda Romanska 18 Donors 21

Both locally and beyond, Boston Lyric Opera leads the way in celebrating the art of the voice through innovative programming and community engagement programs that are redefining the opera-going experience. Under the vibrant leadership of 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, and 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 40,000 people who experience BLO through both the Company’s dynamic, fully staged productions at the Shubert Theatre and in found spaces throughout Boston, and through its extensive partnerships with such leading cultural organizations as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Boston Symphony Orchestra; Handel and Haydn Society; Boston Public Library; American Repertory Theater; Boston Children’s Museum; Zoo New England; and many others. The Company’s involvement with Boston extends far beyond the walls of the performance hall, embracing the schools, churches, neighborhood centers, and cultural destinations of our vastly diverse and exuberant community. BLO’s wide-reaching education initiatives introduce opera to new audiences and new generations. Thousands of high school students attend final dress rehearsals of BLO productions at the Shubert Theatre each year for free, and the Company’s annual Open House introduces the art form to music lovers of all ages through free performances, backstage tours, and musical activities. Through its in-school and afterschool education programs for children and youth, BLO takes its place among a network of organizations that provide Boston and surrounding communities with services that are available nowhere else and that help make Boston unique among U.S. cities. In addition, BLO audiences can enjoy free pre-performance lectures, which highlight the productions and music, prior to Shubert Theatre performances. BLO’s commitment to opera in all forms— classic masterworks to contemporary explorations—is evident in its programming, which remains faithful to tradition while 2 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

So Young Park as Queen of the Night in BLO's production of The Magic Flute. Photo by Eric Antoniou

blazing new ground, building audiences and creating new ways to enhance the opera-going experience. This commitment is further made manifest in the Company’s unwavering support for the artists—both established and emerging—who bring the art of opera to you, our valued audiences. BLO provides each year’s class of Emerging Artists with extraordinary opportunities to develop their craft and grow. Many BLO Emerging Artists expand their careers to other world-leading stages, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, while others choose to remain in Boston and influence future generations through performance and teaching. Through your support and attendance, BLO is able to employ nearly 500 artists and creative professionals each year—vocalists, artisans, stagehands, costumers, and scenic designers—many of whom are members of our own community and our neighbors. The Company is proud to play a significant role in the livelihood of these individuals and to provide meaningful employment for our vibrant arts community.

Since its founding in 1976, BLO has staged significant world premieres, U.S. premieres as well as a co-commission with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and continues to be a destination for some of the leading artists, conductors, directors and designers from around the world.

Prepare For Your Opera Experience Learn more about the production with Boston Lyric Opera’s pre-performance lectures. Join us for engaging half-hour talks exploring how music and design interact to create dynamic and evocative performances. Pre-performance lectures are free to ticket holders and are held in the Citi Performing Arts Center℠ Shubert Theatre one hour before every performance.

Friends of BLO:Triple your impact This spring, in recognition of all that you make possible and in the hope that we can achieve even greater heights together, BLO’s Board challenges you. • Renew your gift to double it • make a first–time or increased gift to triple it

If we reach our goal of $250,000, the Friends of BLO will be credited with the production sponsorship of next Season's opener, an exciting new production of an opera favorite. All participants in the Challenge will be entered to win two tickets to the 2014 Opera Gala, A Season Opening Celebration on October 10, 2014. BLO’s community of patrons and supporters enables us to create innovative and moving opera on our stages and throughout our community – you are BLO. All renewed Friends of BLO gifts will be matched one to one. All new and increased Friends of BLO gifts will be matched two to one. *Gifts between $1 and $2,999 qualify for Friends of BLO

ABA ▪ 33 Kingston Street ▪ Boston, MA 02111 ▪ 617.338.3000

New Britain Museum of American Art

Photo © Peter Vanderwarker

With just four months to go… will you help us meet the Challenge and secure $4 million for BLO? The Envision Opera Challenge was launched in 2010 to support BLO’s efforts to engage new audiences and provide opportunity for innovation in opera through programs like our Opera Annex. It has directly made productions—like BLO’s production of Lizzie Borden at Tanglewood— possible. With your new or renewed gift of $3,000 or greater you can: • Ensure the sustainability of BLO’s Opera Annex • Stimulate new productions and new works • Foster partnership, collaboration, and engagement across our community

BLO’s Opera Annex takes people out of the traditional theatre and puts people in unconventional space. I think it brings so much life to productions because it almost feels like you’re going on a field trip, having a different kind of experience.” —Jared Bowen, WGBH

The Envision Opera Challenge was established in November 2010 by a matching gift from an anonymous family foundation. The Challenge supports projects that are part of the expanded artistic vision of BLO, including Opera Annex, new productions, and new works. 4 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

Lizzie Borden HEADS To Tanglewood in July 2014 Boston Lyric Opera is pleased to announce that its Opera Annex production of the BLO-commissioned chamber version of Jack Beeson’s riveting masterpiece, Lizzie Borden, will be performed at the celebrated Tanglewood Festival in July 2014, at the invitation of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. BLO Music Director David Angus conducts a chamber ensemble from the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, with the original cast reassembled, for the performance at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall on July 31. BLO has secured the recording rights for its chamber version of Lizzie Borden and is currently at work to identify funding for a commercial recording of this important performance. The Company will soon release a commercial recording of last year’s Opera Annex production, the U.S. premiere of James MacMillan’s Clemency, cocommissioned by BLO, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Scottish Opera; and Britten Sinfonia. Lizzie Borden will be performed on July 31, 2014. For tickets and additional information, please call BSO at 888-266-1200 or visit Images (top-bottom): Ozawa Hall, Steve Rosenthal for Boston Symphony Orchestra; Lizzie Borden at The Castle at Park Plaza, Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera © 2013

A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR Please join me in welcoming two Boston Lyric Opera favorite performers back to the Shubert stage. One has worked her way into our hearts in short order, the other has been away from our stage for too many seasons. Please welcome soprano Nadine Sierra, singing the role of Gilda; and bass Morris Robinson, singing the role of Sparafucile. Each, I like to think, represents the very best of BLO. Ms. Sierra made her BLO debut just three seasons ago as Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while Mr. Robinson made his operatic debut with BLO in 1999. As we acknowledge the great strides in artistic direction since 1999 and even more recently, I want to let you know that we’re all in for a continued treat looking forward to next Season’s repertoire. I encourage you to quickly open your Subscription Renewal information as you receive it and sign up for the 2014/15 Season! And while you’re renewing, let me reinforce that it takes more than loyal subscribers to sustain BLO; it takes loyal and generous patrons. We invite you now to become a member of the Orfeo Society and support BLO as not only a subscriber but as a patron. You will be playing a key part in the future success of the opera and you will be glad you did. For those of you able to join the Orfeo Society for the first time, or increase your giving within the Orfeo Society, your gift (in excess of $3,000) will count toward BLO’s fourth and final year of the Envision Opera Challenge—bringing BLO an additional one million dollars this year in support of new productions and new works. We thank you for supporting new artists like Nadine Sierra and established artists like Morris Robinson. I hope you agree with me that this is an artistic achievement and a passionate production of Rigoletto! Steven P. Akin Chair, Board of Directors

Board of Directors CHAIR

Steven P. Akin Vice-CHAIr

Wayne Davis Vice-CHAIR &Treasurer

Frank Wisneski Clerk

Susan Jacobs

Jane Akin David B. Arnold Jr. Linda Cabot Black Miguel de Bragança JoAnne Walton Dickinson, Esq. Alan Dynner Susan D. Eastman Andrew Eisenberg Kenneth L. Freed Thomas D. Gill Jr. Barbara Winter Glauber

Anneliese M. Henderson Mimi Hewlett Horace H. Irvine II Amelia Welt Katzen Maria J. Krokidas Stephen T. Kunian Lois A. Lampson Abigail B. Mason A. Neil Pappalardo E. Lee Perry William Pounds

Michael J. Puzo Alicia Cooney Quigley David W. Scudder Susan R. Shapiro David Shukis Ray Stata Christopher Tadgell Wat Tyler Tania Zouikin

James Ackerman Kyla Akin de Asla Ann Beha Debra Taylor Blair Richard M. Burnes Jr. Ellen Cabot Lynn Dale Carol Deane Jessica Donohue Norma Greenberg Catherine E. Grein

Lila Berman Gross Amy Hunter Louise Johnson Ellen Kaplan William T. Kennedy Russell Lopez Anita Loscalzo M. Lynne Markus Jeffrey Marshall Shari Noe Jane Pisciottoli Papa

Samuel Parkinson Irving H. Plotkin Susanne Potts Malcolm Rogers Wendy Shattuck Sandra A. Urie Mark Volpe Peter J. Wender Bert Zarins


Esther Nelson, Ex Officio


Willa Bodman L. Joseph LoDato Lawrence St. Clair

EMERITI J.P. Barger Sherif A. Nada Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 5

A conversation with Sarah Coburn by Richard Dyer

Sarah Coburn has an inspiring story to tell. In 2001 she was a national grand finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions without having studied at a prestigious music school or with a power-broker teacher. Nevertheless there she was, singing in a gala concert at the Met, and her presence there marked the first step toward the breakthrough into her unusual and substantial career.

“there is a very good opera company here. I can drive to a rehearsal or a performance, and then come home and sleep in my own bed.” Recently, Coburn outlined her career trajectory thoughtfully, interrupting herself occasionally for a burst of laughter or a rapid first response to her younger daughter, who was supposed to be asleep but wasn’t.

“I was 23 at the time, and being in the national finals was a huge and frightening experience,” Coburn recalls, “but it was also a real sign that if I could get that far, I had something that was worth investing in.” Within the last dozen years she has become the coloratura of choice for many American opera companies. She has performed many of the principal roles in Baroque and bel canto operas by Handel, Bellini, and Rossini, as well as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto and the title role in Delibes’s Lakmé. Her operatic travels have taken her from the Washington (DC) National Opera to companies in Los Angeles and Seattle, with engagements in more than a dozen cities in between. She made her debut at Boston Lyric Opera in the 2012 production of The Barber of Seville and returns this May for Bellini’s I Puritani. Along the way she has developed a parallel career in orchestra appearances, recital, and oratorio—Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society has engaged her twice. In addition to all of this, she has performed with opera companies abroad, the prestigious pinnacle of which were her performances at the Vienna State Opera in Bellini. Coburn lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and two young daughters. They moved from Connecticut in 2010 because she has family and support systems back home. "And,” she adds, 6 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

Coburn was in born in Virginia but grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Her father, Tom Coburn, was a prominent physician when she was a child; now he is the outspoken and controversial junior US Senator from Oklahoma. She sang in a concert performance of I Puritani in Washington, DC, seven years ago and has longed to return to the role of Elvira ever since. It is challenging and gratifying from the musical and vocal point of view, and Coburn is eager to add the theatrical dimension because it is a great acting part too. Like Verdi’s Aida, Elvira is caught between two sides in a war, in this instance the English civil war between the Royalists and the Puritans. Elvira comes from a family of Puritans who want her to marry another Puritan, but she is in love with Arturo, who is a Royalist. The unstable Elvira topples over into madness because she believes Arturo has betrayed her. Whereupon she sings

one of the greatest mad scenes in opera, but after the last interpolated high E-flat she does not fall lifeless to the floor as one would expect. Instead there is another act to go, and the lovers reunite: in opera you never know what will happen next. Like her senator father, Coburn speaks her mind and is candid about people who make fun of opera stories. “I think it is disrespectful to apologize for the plots of bel canto operas," Coburn says decisively. “They deserve to be taken seriously because of the beautiful and eloquent writing for the voice and for the kind of singing those composers invented. I’ve sung three Bellini operas so far, La Sonnambula, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and I Puritani. The long vocal lines are famous, but when I hear or perform Bellini I am always astonished as well at the harmonic imagination and lushness of the orchestration—he didn't write the kind of boom-chick accompaniment you hear in operas by other bel canto composers.” Onstage and in public settings Coburn has the red-carpet charisma of a movie star, so it was a little surprising to hear how outspoken she is about the emphasis on youth and glamour in televised and movie-theater opera and the desire to be “relevant” or “edgy” or even shocking at the cost of the music, text, and intentions of the creators. "Opera is an athletic art form; it is not meant to be seen close-up. To sing for people who are seated in the back row is a muscular effort that is not beautiful to watch from close-up. So musical and vocal compromises get made." And she doesn’t like to see opera watered down or distorted in hopes of increasing its popular appeal. "I am an old-fashioned purist, which is not a popular viewpoint these days. But opera is glorious as it is and doesn't need to ‘cross over’ to be more like some other art form. I think we should

stop apologizing for it, and introduce it unashamedly." Coburn can be equally honest in speaking about herself. She was horrified to learn that a performance in which she didn’t think she had sung well has been posted on YouTube. Nor does she think that her Boston performances have represented the best work of which she is capable. “Every time I have been in Boston, I have been pregnant and feeling sick. When the Handel and Haydn Society asked me back for next season, I told my husband there was no way I was going to be pregnant during those performances!” Coburn feels age, experience, and motherhood have led to changes in her voice, which is fuller and warmer and richer in colors than it used to be. People have consequently been suggesting heavier roles to her. So far she has been resisting the temptation. "The heaviest role I have on my schedule is Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, and I don't want to push it further than that, at least right now. I am satisfied with what I sing best. There are things I can do now that I couldn't do before and I am more aware of my breath support, and with that I can access more of my voice that I simply wasn't choosing to use earlier, even though it was there. I don't want to lose the high and clear aspects of my voice and its elasticity." That’s why she is perfectly happy to stay within the bounds of bel canto opera and pleased to be returning to I Puritani in particular, despite Bellini’s extreme demands on breath, stamina, range, technical skills like cascading scales, flexibility, and poetic shaping of text and musical line. How she acquired all of this is the inspiring part of her story. Coburn laughs and says, "I always had a loud voice—and it was always getting me into trouble. But I never actually saw an opera until my mom and I went to the Met for Madama Butterfly. I loved every minute of it. At Oklahoma State, I studied music education; the only time I was onstage was in a production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. I was not admitted to any of the famous music schools I applied to for graduate work, so I wound up at Oklahoma City University, where I found a good voice

teacher and I began to think more seriously about singing. The problem was that I didn’t have the musical background and the self-confidence that other people had, and I was easily intimidated and discouraged. But I did find my first opportunities— the first opera I sang onstage was Don Pasquale, which was very appropriate. I sang some other things like Violetta in La Traviata and Magda in La Rondine that were much less appropriate, but in a bigger and more competitive school I wouldn't have gotten these chances to perform. Even when I was out of school, doors kept shutting in my face. It took me awhile to believe I might have something." The Met auditions did open some doors; she was finally accepted into programs at Glimmerglass and Seattle and began to win engagements in places like Kansas City and Indianapolis. "I was building a lot of repertory and learning my trade in public, which was frightening, but I was also thankful there were so many crazy people who were willing to take a chance on me even though I wasn't ready for the big time." In that period, in 2003, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, singing the tiny role of the First Peasant Girl in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. "That was an extremely highpressure experience even if the part is only two pages long, so if something goes wrong, there is no other opportunity to make up for it later. And if James Levine is conducting, you don’t want to mess it up!” Later, in 2007, she returned to the Met for four performances of Tan Dun's The First Emperor, the first of the occasions on which she worked with Plácido Domingo, who became a favorite colleague and role model. During her early career Coburn suffered from severe stage fright, which she has conquered in part because she worked with a counselor Renée Fleming had recommended. "Like a lot of other singers, I was taking beta blockers to control my stage fright, and they had become my crutch. When I became pregnant the first time, I had to stop taking them and instead began to concentrate on the real issues rather than masking them. The therapist made me consider the question, Was I afraid of doing a

good job as much as I was afraid of failure?" Coburn’s marriage and her family life with her children have also rearranged her priorities. "I still desperately care about doing a good job but no longer want to waste time worrying about what other people might think, or what some critic is going to write, or whether the company is going to ask me back. Driving the children to dance class or working in the garden or keeping the schedule of everyone in the family coordinated is much healthier than indulging stage fright. It was also reassuring to learn that even Plácido suffers every time he performs—and he's Plácido Domingo!" Richard Dyer is a distinguished writer and lecturer. He wrote about music for the Boston Globe for over 30 years, serving as chief music critic for most of that time. He has twice won the Deems Taylor/ ASCAP Award for Distinguished Music Criticism.

Sarah Coburn will reunite with John Tessier, her costar in BLO’s 2012 production of The Barber of Seville, for BLO’s upcoming production of I Puritani. For tickets, please call 866.348.9738 or visit For group sales or subscriptions, contact BLO at 617.542.6772.

Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 7

Boston lyric opera Presents


Music by Giuseppe Verdi Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave


Christopher Franklin*

Stage Director

Tomer Zvulun*

Sung in Italian with projected English translation Performed in two parts with one intermission

Set Designer

John Conklin

Costume Designer

Victoria Tzykun*

Music Director David Angus 2013/14 Season Sponsor, Linda Cabot Black

Lighting Designer

Robert Wierzel

Fight Directors

Ted Hewlett & robert najarian

Wigs and Makeup Designer

Jason Allen

Projected English Titles

John Conklin

This production of Rigoletto is a coproduction of Boston Lyric Opera, The Atlanta Opera, and Opera Omaha This co-production has been made possible in part by generous gifts from Paul and Sandra Montrone, Richard D. Holland and Omaha Steaks



(in order of vocal appearance)

The Duke of Mantua

Bruce Sledge*

sunday, march 16, at 3:00 p.m.


Omar Najmi#

Wednesday, march 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Countess Ceprano

Chelsea Basler#


Michael Mayes*


David Kravitz

Count Ceprano

Liam Moran#

Count Monterone

David Cushing^


Morris Robinson


Nadine Sierra



The Duchess of Mantua





Audrey Babcock*


Sandra Kott Concertmaster


Michelle Alexander Chorusmaster

Rehearsal Accompanist

James Myers

Assistant Director

stephanie havey*

Production Stage Manager

Chelsea Antrim

Friday, march 14, at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, march 21, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, march 23, at 3:00 p.m. Performance running time approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes Citi performing arts centerSM shubert theatre 265 tremont street, boston

* Boston Lyric Opera Debut # Boston Lyric Opera Emerging Artist ^ Boston Lyric Opera Emerging Artist Alumnus

Sponsored by David Shukis

Sponsored by Alan and Lisa Dynner

Sponsored by E. Lee and Slocumb Hollis Perry Sponsored by Susan Jacobs

Artists Tomer Zvulun Director BLO: Debut Recent highlights: Producer, La Bohème, Seattle Opera; Lucrezia Borgia, Buenos Aires Lirica; Falstaff, Wolf Trap Opera; Lucia di Lammermoor, Atlanta Opera; Stage Director, Carmen, Metropolitan Opera Upcoming: Producer, Silent Night, Wexford Festival; Semele, Seattle Opera; Madama Butterfly, Atlanta Opera; Director, La Bohème, Pittsburgh Opera

Christopher franklin Conductor BLO: Debut Recent highlights: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macerata Festival; Così Fan Tutte, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari Upcoming: Concert tour with Juan Diego Flórez, Festspielhaus (Baden Baden); Concerts in Prague, Bratislava, and Vienna with soprano Pretty Yende; Symphonic programs with the Philharmonique de Monte Carlo

John Conklin Set Designer BLO: The Magic Flute, The Flying Dutchman, Così Fan Tutte, Madama Butterfly Recent highlights: 2011 NEA Opera Honors recipient Upcoming: I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera; Ongoing Boston Lyric Opera Signature Series at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Bruce Sledge Tenor The Duke of Mantua BLO: Debut Recent highlights: Leicester, Maria Stuarda, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden & Welsh National Opera; King of Naples, The Tempest, Metropolitan Opera; Paolo Erisso, Maometto Secondo, Santa Fe Opera Upcoming: Percy, Anna Bolena, Opéra National de Bordeaux; Mr. Popescu, The Impresario and The Fisherman, Santa Fe Opera

OMAR NAJMI Tenor Borsa BLO: Second Spirit Messenger, The Magic Flute; Reverend Harrington, Lizzie Borden Recent highlights: Bill, Flight, University of Arkansas; St. Brioche, The Merry Widow, Opera Providence; Father Confessor, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Boston University Opera Institute; Don Curzio, Le Nozze di Figaro, Opera North Upcoming: Bruno, I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera

CHELSEA BASLER Soprano Countess Ceprano BLO: Soloist, Landmarks concert 2013; Papagena, The Magic Flute; Margret Borden, Lizzie Borden Recent highlights: Josephine, HMS Pinafore; Liu, Turandot, Opera Sarasota Upcoming: Enrichetta, I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera

Michael Mayes Baritone Rigoletto BLO: Debut Recent highlights: Baden Baden 1927, Gotham Chamber Opera; Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni, Green Mountain Music Festival; Elder Thompson, Glory Denied, Fort Worth Opera; Joseph De Rocher, Dead Man Walking, Eugene Opera Upcoming: Joseph De Rocher, Dead Man Walking, Central City Opera & Madison Opera; Escamillo, Carmen, Pensacola Opera

DAVID KRAVITZ Baritone Marullo BLO: The Speaker, The Magic Flute; Abraham, Clemency; Cosimo, The Inspector Recent highlights: United Nations, Death and the Powers, Dallas Opera; Soloist, Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony No. 3 (Poems and Prayers), UCLA Philharmonic; Paolo Orsini, Rienzi, Odyssey Opera; Poo-bah, The Mikado, Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Captain Balstrode, Peter Grimes, Chautauqua Opera Upcoming: Frederik, A Little Night Music, Emmanuel Music; Soloist, A Sea Symphony, Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 9

Artists LIAM MORAN Bass Count Ceprano

SAMANTHA WEPPELMANN Mezzo-Soprano Giovanna

BLO: Snug, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

BLO: Chorus, The Flying Dutchman, Madama Butterfly, Macbeth

Recent highlights: Bass #1 (cover), The Nose, Metropolitan Opera; Angelotti, Tosca, Madison Opera; Il Commendatore, Don Giovanni, Kentucky Opera; Sparafucile, Rigoletto, Annapolis Opera; Dr. Grenvil, La Traviata, Opera Omaha

Recent highlights: Miss Baggott, The Little Sweep, Sarasota Opera; Mercédès (Cover), Carmen, MetroWest Opera; Zia Principessa, Suor Angelica, Operafestival di Roma; Katisha, The Mikado, Sands Theater Center

Upcoming: Gualtiero, I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera

Upcoming: Soloist, Recital Series (Orlando, FL)

DAVID CUSHING Bass-Baritone Count Monterone

VANESSA SCHUKIS Mezzo-Soprano The Duchess of Mantua

BLO: Sarastro, The Magic Flute; Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville; Adolfo, The Inspector

BLO: Marquise, Daughter of the Regiment; Euphemia Ivanova Bochkova, Resurrection

Recent highlights: The Speaker, The Magic Flute, Opera Tampa; Dulcamara, L’Elisir d’Amore, Opera North; The Great Gatsby, Emmanuel Music; Un Ballo in Maschera, Opera Tampa Upcoming: Future season productions, Boston Lyric Opera

MORRIS ROBINSON Bass Sparafucile BLO: King, Aida Recent highlights: Sarastro, The Magic Flute, Opera Australia; Zaccaria, Nabucco, Opera Philadelphia; Joe, Show Boat, Washington National Opera; Ramphis, Aida, Cincinnati Opera; Ferrando, Il Trovatore, Metropolitan Opera Upcoming: Joe, Show Boat, San Francisco Opera; Sarastro, The Magic Flute, Houston Grand Opera; Sparafucile, Rigoletto, Atlanta Opera

Recent highlights: Julia Child, Bon Appetit, Music on Norway Pond; Mary, The Flying Dutchman; Yente/ Fruma-Sarah, Fiddler on the Roof; Catherine of Aragon, Rex, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Company Upcoming: Chorus, I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera; Madame Thenardier, Les Misérables; Aunt Eller, Oklahoma; Duchess, The Student Prince, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Company

RON WILLIAMS Baritone Usher BLO: Chorus, Lost in the Stars, The Leader, The Flying Dutchman, The Magic Flute Recent highlights: Figaro, The Barber of Seville, Opera New England; Nick Shadow, Rake's Progress, Opera Laboratory Theatre; Prince Yamadori, Madame Butterfly, Dayton Opera; Andy, Treemonisha, Michigan Opera Theatre; Edward, The Last Leaf, Opera San Jose (world premiere) Upcoming: Chorus, I Puritani, Boston Lyric Opera

Nadine Sierra Soprano Gilda BLO: Tytania, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Recent highlights: Gilda, Rigoletto, Seattle Opera, Teatro di San Carlo, Florida Grand Opera; Soloist, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater (Staged), Glimmerglass Festival; Papagena, The Magic Flute, San Francisco Opera Upcoming: Musetta, La Bohème, San Francisco Opera; Countess, Le Nozze di Figaro, San Francisco Opera; Soprano Soloist, Carmina Burana, Cleveland Orchestra 10 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

AUDREY BABCOCK Mezzo-Soprano Maddalena BLO: Debut Recent highlights: Carmen, Carmen, Pensacola Opera; Mercédès, Carmen, Dallas Opera; Maddalena, Rigoletto, Opera Coeur d’Alene; La Reina, La Reina, American Lyric Opera Upcoming: Maria Luisa, With Blood With Ink, Fort Worth Opera



Victoria Tzykun Costume Designer


BLO: Debut Recent highlights: Set & costume design, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Lyric Opera of Kansas City; set & costume design, Salome, Utah Symphony, Utah Opera Upcoming: Costume design, La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers, Gotham Chamber Opera; set & costume design, Salome, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia; costume design, Silent Night, Wexford Festival

Robert Wierzel Lighting Designer BLO: Madama Butterfly, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Agrippina, Idomeneo, Don Giovanni Recent highlights: Mourning Becomes Electra, Florida Grand Opera; Carmen, Opera SØR (Norway); The Tempest, American Ballet Theatre Upcoming: Napoli Millionaria, A.C.T; The Dream of Valentino, Minnesota Opera; An American Tragedy, Madama Butterfly, Glimmerglass Festival; Tales of Hoffman, Seattle Opera

Ted Hewlett Fight Director BLO: Carmen Recent highlights: Huntington Theatre, Actors' Shakespeare Project, A.R.T., SITI Co/ArtsEmerson, SpeakEasy Stage Upcoming: Faculty member: Emerson College

ROBERT NAJARIAN Fight Director BLO: Carmen; Macbeth Recent highlights: The Kite Runner, The New Rep Theatre; She Kills Monsters; Company One; Assistant Professor of Theatre, University of Michigan Upcoming: The Magic Flute, Marisol, University of Michigan

Jason Allen Wigs and Makeup Designer BLO: Resident Designer since 2003 Recent highlights: Doubt, Minnesota Opera; The Barber of Seville, Mill City Summer Opera; Hippie Chic, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Upcoming: The Dream of Valentino, Minnesota Opera

Part 1 The Court

 After describing his latest attraction to a girl he saw at church, the Duke proceeds to seduce the Countess Ceprano while her husband is cruelly mocked by the court jester, Rigoletto. One of the other courtiers announces to everyone’s amazement that the hunchback jester has hidden away a mistress. Led by cuckolded Ceprano, the courtiers vow revenge on the hated Rigoletto only to be interrupted by Monterone, who violently berates the Duke for dishonoring his daughter. Mimicked and insulted by Rigoletto, Monterone curses both men. The Duke shrugs it off while Rigoletto is deeply disturbed. Later that evening Rigoletto, haunted by Monterone’s curse, is approached by the professional assassin Sparafucile, who offers his services. After rejecting Sparafucile’s proposition (for the moment), Rigoletto is greeted by his daughter, Gilda, whom he obsessively protects and shelters from the corruption of the outside world. But the Duke (disguised as a student) has bribed Gilda’s duenna and makes contact with the girl he saw in church. Their ecstatic meeting is cut short by the approaching courtiers, who have come to carry off the woman they still think is Rigoletto’s mistress. Rigoletto unexpectedly returns and is duped into believing he is aiding in the planned capture of the Countess Ceprano. Gilda is abducted and Rigoletto, finally realizing the true situation, finds the house deserted and his daughter gone. Part 2 The Killing Ground The courtiers bring Gilda back to the ducal palace. When Rigoletto, crazed with grief and apprehension, seeks his daughter, he finds that she is with the Duke. She admits to her father that, in spite of everything, she is still in love with her seducer. Rigoletto vows a terrible revenge for the dishonor. Having now enlisted the services of Sparafucile, Rigoletto attempts to convince Gilda of her lover’s betrayal by showing her the Duke’s involvement with Maddalena (Sparafucile's sister). Rigoletto sends Gilda away so she will not see the murder. But she returns and, overhearing the plotting of Sparafucile and Maddalena, resolves that she must prevent her lover’s death… Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 11

Boston lyric opera Orchestra PICCOLO Ann Bobo

VIOLIN I Sandra Kott Concertmaster Colin Davis Natalie Favaloro Cynthia Cummings Gerald Mordis Peter Hanly Stacey Alden Lena Wong Roksana Sudol

OBOE Nancy Dimock Principal Mary Cicconetti ENGLISH HORN Mary Cicconetti

VIOLIN II Heidi Braun-Hill Acting Principal Robert Curtis Tera Gorsett Rohan Gregory Olga Kouznetsova Annegret Klaua Maynard Goldman VIOLA David Feltner Acting Principal Don Krishnaswami Joan Ellersick Stephen Dyball Russell Wilson CELLO Loewi Lin Principal Jan Pfeiffer-Rios Rafael Popper-Keizer Steven Laven BASS Robert Lynam Principal Barry Boettger Kevin Green FLUTE Linda Toote Principal Ann Bobo

CLARINET Jan Halloran Principal Steven Jackson Bassoon Ronald Haroutunian Acting Principal Elah Grandel French Horn Kevin Owen Principal Dirk Hillyer Whitacre Hill Iris Rosenstein Trumpet Jesse Levine Acting Principal Mary Lynne Bohn Trombone John Faieta Acting Principal Peter Cirelli Donald Robinson Cimbasso Donald Rankin Principal Timpani Robert Schulz Acting Principal Percussion John Tanzer Acting Principal Nicholas Tolle

Boston lyric opera Chorus Tenor Mario Arevalo Ethan Bremner Brendan Buckley Craig Hanson Frank Levar Chris Maher Thomas Oesterling Fred VanNess

Bass Jeremy Collier Fred Furnari Taylor Horner Andy Papas Paul Soper David Wadden John Whittlesey Ron Williams

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Supernumeraries Clara Ulken Monterone’s Daughter with Gina DeFreitas

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Boston Lyric Opera extends its gratitude to the following individuals and organizations for their extraordinary courtesy in making our productions possible: Advanced Lighting and Production Services Jim Deveer American Repertory Theater Steve Setterlun Be Our Guest, Inc. Susan Bennett, M.D., Company Physician Consultant Associate Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston Center for Adult Education Boston Public Library The Catered Affair Costume Works, Inc. Liz Perlman Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts Denka Trucking Dick Butler Elderhostel, Inc./Road Scholar Eric Antoniou Photography Four Seasons, Boston French Cultural Center Goodwin PR Group Tara Goodwin Frier Margrette Cardone Mondillo JoJo Gutfarb Josh Sarnowitz IATSE Local #11 JACET Jelmez-Art Kft. Ildikó Debreczeni Joyce Kulhawik Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Myles Standish Business Condominiums Scott Berry Opera Omaha Roger Weitz ProPrint Steve McQueen Santander Bank United Staging & Rigging Eric Frishman Wheelock Family Theatre Winston Flowers

The Artists and Stage Managers employed on this production 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 IATSE. Stagehands are represented by Local #11 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Boston Lyric Opera is a member of OPERA America, the national service organization for opera in the United States and Canada.

Boston lyric opera Staff Esther Nelson General & Artistic Director David Angus Music Director John Conklin Artistic Advisor Artistic Nicholas G. Russell Director of Artistic Operations Jennifer Feldman Artistic Coordinator Nancy McDonald Artistic Associate Development Eileen Nugent Williston Director of Institutional Advancement Sarah B. Blume Director of Major Gifts Heather R. Coulter Institutional Advancement Manager Renee M. Dunn Director of Special Events & Corporate Sponsorships Catherine Emmons Director of Institutional Gifts David Lucey Patron Services Coordinator Robin Schweikart Database Administrator Vanessa Wheeler Research and Database Coordinator

Finance and Administration Steven Glanzman Director of Finance and Administration David J. Cullen Accounting Manager Reingard Heller Finance Manager Kristin Dwyer Office Associate Marketing and Communications Rebecca Farnham Marketing and Communications Manager Andrew Moreau Audience Services Manager Goodwin PR Group Public Relations Production Bradley Vernatter Director of Production Julia Noulin-Mérat Associate Producer Tim O'Connell Technical Production Manager Steve Grair Interim Technical Production Manager Dana C. Ciccotello Production Administrator Garry McLinn Manager Director’s Office

Education and Community Programs Megan Cooper Director of Community Engagement Elizabeth Mullins Manager of Education and Community Program Development Heather Gallagher Resident Teaching Artist

Magda Romanska Dramaturg

Production staff


Chelsea Antrim Production Stage Manager Justin Hamblen Assistant Stage Manager Taylor Ruge Assistant Stage Manager Lauren Wong Production Assistant B. Alix Lopes Production Electrician Jenny Ciaffone First Assistant Production Electrician Mike Condon First Assistant Production Electrician Justin Brady Second Assistant Production Electrician Patrick Glynn Production Properties/Properties Supervisor Laurie Picot Second Assistant Head of Production Properties Jeremy Smith Production Carpenter Justin Colantuoni First Assistant Production Carpenter Bryan Salmon Second Assistant Production Carpenter James R. McCartney Production Audio Dianna Reardon Wardrobe Supervisor Bailey Costa Assistant Lighting Designer Jessica Elliot Lighting Design Assistant Liz Sherrier Scenic Design Assistant Rachel Padula-Shufelt Wig/Makeup Artist Ashley B. Joyce Wig/Makeup Artist Daniel McGaha Surtitle Operator Kate Ellingson Music Librarian

Lynn Bregman Clementine Brown Jane Cammack Stephen Chan Ashley Chang Caroline Cole Jose Alberto Colon Barbara Compton Jeannie Ackerman Curhan Ann D’Angelo Jaclyn Dentino Karla De Greef Mary DePoto Frances Driscoll Marian Ead Susan Eastman Hugh Fitzgerald Audley Fuller Ralph Gioncardi Linda Granitto Jennifer Harris

INTERNS Stephany Kim Melanie O’Neill

Eric Haskal Bruce Houston Molly Johnson Yasmina Kamal Eva Karger Milling Kinard Jo Anna Klein Esther Lable Melissa Lanouette Nancy Lynn Deborah Martin Domenico Mastrototaro Terri Mazzulli Anne McGuire Amy Molloy Meg Morton Katherine Nash Kameel Nasr Gail Neff Kellie Pacheco Cosmo Papa

Jane Papa Barbara Papesch Mamoud Sadre Patricia Sadre Jutta Scott Alexandra Sherman Lee Sullivan Debbie Swenson Barbara Trachtenberg Jessica Tybursky Amy Walba Gerry Weisenberg Debbie Wiess Beverly Wiggins Alfred Williams Joe Williams Sybil Williams

Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 13


At the request of our patrons, Boston Lyric Opera observes the national opera standard of a no-late seating policy. 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. Latecomers will be asked to wait in the lobby until the earliest possible break in the performance, which in some cases may be intermission. Should you arrive late, the Company provides a video monitor in the lobby where you may view the performance until you are seated. As a courtesy to the artists and for the comfort of those around you, please turn off all mobile phones, pagers, watch alarms, and any other device with audible signals prior to the start of the performance. Patrons who leave the theatre during the performance may not be seated again until intermission. The use of cameras or recording devices in the theatre is strictly prohibited. In consideration of Boston Lyric Opera patrons, children under six will not be admitted. Citi Performing Arts Center℠ Shubert Theatre is not entirely wheelchair-accessible. For patrons with disabilities, wheelchair-accessible and companion seating, as well as removable-arm chairs, are available in a variety of locations and prices on the Orchestra level. There is no elevator in the Shubert Theatre; staircases are available for access to the Mezzanine and Balcony level seating areas. A wheelchair accessible restroom and concession station are located off the main lobby. A wheelchair-accessible telephone is located in the box office lobby. The Shubert Theatre is equipped with an FM assistive listening device for patrons with hearing impairments; headsets are available free of charge at the Head Usher’s desk. A pay-TTY device for deaf patrons is located in the box office lobby. Patrons requiring assistance should contact Citi Performing Arts Center℠ in advance of their visit. Please call 617.482.9393 or (TTY) 617.482.5757. Patrons who are deaf are encouraged to use the Massachusetts Relay Service at 800.439.2370 for purchasing tickets to BLO productions. Please direct inquiries and requests for ADA guidelines to: Access Services Administrator, Citi Performing Arts Center℠, 270 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116.


For information on Boston Lyric Opera productions, subscriptions and tickets, visit, call BLO audience services at 617.542.6772, or visit the Shubert Theatre box office, open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:00 p.m., also available by telephone at 866.348.9738.


production history of Rigoletto by Magda Romanska, Ph.D., Boston Lyric Opera Dramaturg Verdi’s Rigoletto is based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 play Le Roi S’amuse (The King Amuses Himself), which centers on the excesses of a cynical and ruthless king who revels in the cruel treatment of his courtiers, particularly his jester. The play was meant to depict the story of Francis I of France (1494–1547) and his famous jester Triboulet; however, the censors believed that it mocked France’s current king, Louis-Philippe (1773–1850), and thus banned it after just one performance. In response, Hugo sued the Théâtre Français, a move that turned him into a celebrity, a defender of freedom of speech in France. Unfortunately, he lost the suit and the play was banned for another 50 years. To avoid Hugo’s perturbations with censors, Verdi moved the play to Mantua, and changed the king to a duke. He also changed the title of the opera to La Maledizione (The Curse) and eventually changed it again, to Rigoletto. Both titles shifted the focus of the story from the depravity of the master to the drama of his jester. The plot now focused on the tragic story of Rigoletto, who is trapped in an impossible predicament and who eventually suffers one of man’s most horrid fates. When Rigoletto premiered in Italy in March 1851 at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, the critical and popular response was largely negative on account

of the opera’s seeming “lack of morality”—a virginal girl is seduced by a serial womanizer, whose life she saves by sacrificing her own, leaving her grieving and crippled father in despair while the lecherous villain walks away unscathed and unpunished. The lack of poetic justice at the end of the story didn’t prevent the audiences from enjoying Verdi’s music, however, and the opera quickly overcame its initial setbacks. By 1852 Rigoletto was showing in all major Italian cities, and soon enough it was performed all over the world, from Alexandria to Constantinople to Montevideo. In the United States, the reception of Rigoletto was also not without stumbles, as audiences’ and critics’ distaste for what they perceived to be the story’s amoral message seemed at first insurmountable. When the opera premiered on February 19, 1855, at New York’s Academy of Music, Albion, the influential weekly journal, wrote that “rumors prejudicial to the morals of Rigoletto had been most freely circulated throughout the city, inducing many who would otherwise gladly have heard the new opera, to bide their time until the press should have pronounced its dictum upon the nature of the plot.” After the opening, the critics weren’t much kinder, one calling it “not one of Verdi’s best.” The Times noted that “there is no justice, poetic or otherwise; nothing but horrors, horrors.” Following the reviews,

tenor Fernando Guimarães as Ulisse

mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera as Penelope

the audiences dwindled, and the show was closed after the fifth performance. Despite these initial setbacks, however, as in Italy, people in the United States eventually accepted the ethical implications of the plot and began enjoying the music. The 1861 revival in New York City brought some accolades, with the Herald calling Rigoletto “one of Verdi’s very best works—never sufficiently appreciated here.” The Sunday Mercury, however, called it “immoral” and argued that “no respectable member of the fair sex could patronize [the opera] without a sacrifice of both taste and modesty. [. . .] No decent citizen could wish to see it beside his wife or daughter.” The opera’s producer, Max Meretzek, sued the newspaper for libel, arguing that the story is not at all immoral because the true villain is not the Duke but Rigoletto, who is indeed punished at the end of the story. Meretzek won the suit, and the jury awarded him $1,000 in restitution. Today, Rigoletto is one of the most often performed and most beloved operas. In the last two decades, a number of productions have changed the setting of Rigoletto: to New York City’s Little Italy of the 1950s, to The Planet of the Apes, to Mussolini’s fascist Italy, and to an Italian casino in 1960s Las Vegas, among others.

mezzo-soprano Abigail Nims as Melanto

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community engagement Calendar of Events I Puritani The Madwoman in the Attic Signature Series at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Sunday, April 6, 2014 | Performance 2:00 p.m. | Reception* 3:00 p.m. Tickets: $18–BLO subscribers, MFA members, seniors and students; $22–nonmembers *Add $50 per person for reception with BLO presenters and performers “Mad scenes” have intrigued opera composers from Handel to Britten, offering opportunity for compelling vocal virtuosity as well as drama at an extreme pitch. Nineteenth-century operatic roles such as Lucia and Elvira in I Puritani have become the most famous representatives of this genre; they explore and reflect the many ambiguous complexities (often repressive) of the position of women in their societies. We will hear their extreme, often poignantly beautiful voices from both musical and literary sources, as these women attempt to exist outside the apparently normal and rational boundaries of their own cultures. Featuring performances by Karen MacDonald and BLO Artists. A Conversation with David Angus Opera at the Boston Public Library Central Branch | Copley Square | Rabb Lecture Hall Saturday, April 26, 2014 | 11:00 a.m. | Free and open to the public Boston Lyric Opera Music Director and Conductor David Angus leads “a sharply focused, musically expressive and stylistically nimble orchestra” (Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News). He conducts orchestras and choirs all over Europe, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Wexford Festival Opera. In North America, he has appeared with numerous orchestras and is a former Music Director for Glimmerglass Opera Festival. In this special presentation, Mr. Angus explores the score of Bellini’s bel canto gem, I Puritani, including its famous tour de force soprano arias, and provides special insight into the score for the operagoer and the opera curious. I Puritani stars Sarah Coburn and John Tessier, and opens on May 2, 2014.

Youth Education Programs Finding Your Voice: the Complete Singing Actor Presented in partnership with Wheelock Family Theatre Co-taught by Heather Gallagher (Boston Lyric Opera) and Grace Napier (Wheelock Family Theatre). Piano accompaniment by Christina Chao. All workshops culminate in a demonstration for family and friends. Pitch Perfect: Bringing Your Individual Voice to Auditions & Roles May 17–18, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily Ages 11–15 years All workshops are held at Wheelock Family Theatre. Call 617.879.2252 or visit or for more information.

Images (from top to bottom): Portrait of a Lady, Micah Williams (American, 1782–1837), About 1820, Pastel * Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875 * Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts; Boston Lyric Opera Music Director and Conductor David Angus; Music! Words! Opera! Festival of Classroom Operas, Teen workshops in partnership with Wheelock Family Theatre, Ben Gebo Photography.

Music! Words! Opera! Music! Words! Opera! Summer Teacher Workshop August 11–15, 2014 Registration is now open for BLO’s FREE professional development workshop for teachers. Teachers will be introduced to the multidisciplinary M!W!O! curriculum, through which they will learn how to compose and perform an original opera work within their classrooms. To get involved, email the Community Engagement Department at or call 617.542.4912 x240.

“My experience working with M!W!O! has been quite fulfilling. When I went to the workshop, I was somewhat oblivious to opera and all its intricacies. I knew a lot of costuming and singing were involved, but other than that, opera was foreign to me. As I sat in the room with eight other individuals, I realized that there were others there like me with similar lack of experience, so I felt more comfortable. As we got to know each other, the meaning of opera came to life…In the coming months, the BLO staff will send an artist to work with my students…as we create our own opera. My students are excited about the process and we look forward to a continued long-lasting relationship with BLO.” —Deborah Greene, Teacher Workshop Participant 2012, Festival Participant 2013 BLO gratefully acknowledges funders who make our Education and Community Programs possible: Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation

Images: Boston Lyric Opera Music! Words! Opera! Festival of Classroom Operas, Teen workshops in partnership with Wheelock Family Theatre, Ben Gebo Photography.

Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 17

Boston Lyric Opera's Version of Rigoletto by Magda Romanska, Ph.D., Boston Lyric Opera Dramaturg BLO’s version of Rigoletto returns the opera to its original historical context. The dramatic structure of the story is framed by two necessary conditions: the world in which a ruler has absolute power over life and death, and a world in which the curse of a father is to be believed and feared. Verdi was convinced that for the plot to make sense the Duke must be a lecher with power and without conscience. “The Duke must absolutely be a libertine; without that there can be no justification for Rigoletto's fear of his daughter’s leaving,” Verdi wrote in a letter to a friend. Moving the production from Paris to a smaller city in Italy, Verdi reinforced the idea of a claustrophobic space where no one can escape the fickle will of its ruler. The Duke, although acting without concern or remorse, is never punished, and this lack of poetic justice illuminates the city’s distorted moral code. Our production captures metaphorically that idea of the city of Mantua, a place enclosed by the dark brick wall that illustrates its hidden, unscrupulous, dark side. Chronologically, the plot moves back and forth between the open, public place of the Duke’s court to the secret spaces of the city's underworld: Rigoletto’s house, where he hides away his daughter, and the tavern where he plots the Duke’s assassination. Likewise, our production uses a divided stage to represent the two opposing realms of Mantua’s society, the public world of the Duke’s omnipotent decadence and the private, hidden realm of intimate affairs, which nonetheless remains in his powerful, omnipresent grip. Above the dark brick wall, we see the model of a city made of white marble. The model is based on a painting by Piero della Francesca (1415–92) of an ideal city, a common theme of the Renaissance era. In the painting everything is spotless, open, and transparent. The model hovers over a dark pit in which the human passions of love, lust, and revenge fuel the workings of the real city. The divided stage also represents the two sides of Rigoletto: the ugly, vicious face he dons at court, and the gentle, loving side he shows to his daughter. The image of Rigoletto’s two faces, grotesque and tender, follows Verdi’s intention: “To me there is something really fine in representing on stage this character outwardly so ugly and ridiculous, inwardly so impassioned and full of love,” Verdi wrote about the jester. The second necessary component of the dramatic structure of Verdi’s opera is the impact and power of the father’s curse on the Duke and Rigoletto. The curse is thrown by a courtier whose daughter was abducted and seduced by the Duke, with Rigoletto goading him on. When defending his play to the censors, Victor Hugo wrote,

18 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

This father whose daughter has been taken from him by the king is mocked and insulted by Triboulet. The father raises his arms and curses Triboulet. The whole play evolves from this. The true subject of the drama is the curse of Monsieur de St-Vallier. Now observe; we are in the second act. On whom has this curse fallen? On Triboulet the king’s buffoon? No, on Triboulet the man, who is a father, who has a heart, and a daughter. He has nothing else but his daughter in the whole world. Verdi follows Hugo’s concept, making the father’s curse on Rigoletto the central pillar of the story. The original title of Rigoletto was, in fact, The Curse (La Maledizione), and Verdi believed that the curse is the axis around which the entire dramatic arc of the story revolves. “The whole subject lives in that curse,” he wrote in a letter to his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, while the two were writing the opera. When under the threat of the censor the text of the opera was reworked, a revision that undermined the power of the curse, Verdi penned an impassioned letter to C.D. Marzari, the president of the Teatro la Fenice, who had ordered the rewrites: “The old man’s curse, so awesome and sublime in the original, here becomes ridiculous because the motive that drives him to curse no longer has the same importance ... Without this curse, what purpose, what meaning does the drama have?” Being himself a father, and remembering the time he spent with his daughter’s mother as the only happiness he has ever known, Rigoletto is horrified when another father on whom he has inflicted unsurpassed misery has cursed him with all his heart. The curse is a turning point for Rigoletto, a moment in which he begins to unravel. Thus, our set represents Rigoletto’s breakdown. The erotic Italian-style painting on the wall depicts Venus and Mars, one of the most sumptuous subjects of Western mythology. In our production, however, the painting is not straightforward; it is broken, fractured—like Rigoletto himself. In order for the curse to remain the turning point of the story, to assert its impact on poor Rigoletto, it has to live in the world in which it is believable and authentic, and such was the original world of Verdi’s powerful opera.

Gilda, Sparafucile and Rigoletto Costume design by Victoria Tzykun

Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 19

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Thank You to our 2013/14 Donors 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 Boston Lyric Opera between January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014.

CORPORATE, FOUNDATION & GOVERNMENT SUPPORT Boston Lyric Opera gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for their generous support of BLO’s productions and programs. This list includes contributions and pledges made through January 1, 2014. Crescendo Members ($100,000 and above) Anonymous Barr Foundation and Klarman Family Foundation Capacity Building Initiative The Calderwood Charitable Foundation Fioritura Members ($66,667 to $99,999) Mattina R. Proctor Foundation Seyfarth Shaw LLP Vivace Members ($33,333 to $66,666) Massachusetts Cultural Council Presto Members ($25,000 to $33,332) The Klarman Family Foundation Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation Con Brio Members ($15,000 to $24,999) Harold Alfond Foundation Medical Information Technology Inc.

Allegro Members ($10,000 to $14,999) The Susan A. Babson Opera Fund for Emerging Artists, part of The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation Baupost Group, LLC Boston Private Bank & Trust The Catered Affair Esther B. Kahn Charitable Foundation

Grazioso ($3,000 to $4,999) The Amphion Foundation Anchor Capital Advisors Boston Cultural Council

Adagio Members ($5,000 to $9,999) Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation BNY Mellon Be Our Guest, Inc. Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc. Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Inc. National Endowment for the Arts Neiman Marcus OPERA America Santander Bank State Street Corporation

Encore ($1,000 to $1,999) Winston Flowers Inc.

Bravissimo ($2,000 to $2,999) Cabot Corporation Corning Incorporated Foundation

Ensemble ($500 to $999) GE Foundation UBS Financial Services, Inc.

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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Individual donors Crescendo ($100,000 and above) Anonymous Jane and Steven Akin*† Barr Foundation† Linda Cabot Black*†§ Willa and Taylor Bodman*† Mr. and Mrs. Miguel de Bragança* The Calderwood Charitable Foundation Lynn Dale and Frank Wisneski* Estate of Dean and Patti Freed Jody and Tom Gill*† Horace H. Irvine II*§ Pamela S. Kunkemueller†§ Paul and Sandra Montrone David and Marie Louise Scudder* Wendy Shattuck and Samuel Plimpton*

Orfeo Society—named for the father of song—and Friends of BLO make up BLO’s core community of supporters. Founded on a mutual love for opera, members share a passion for masterful works of art and receive exclusive access to a range of benefits that enrich the operatic experience.

Fioritura ($66,666 to $99,999) Mr. Alan R. Dynner* Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Marshall*† Mattina R. Proctor Foundation Seyfarth Shaw LLP Susan and Dennis Shapiro* Ms. Tania Zouikin*

This list includes gifts and pledges made to the Annual Fund, restricted funds, and event sponsorships through January 1, 2014.

Vivace ($33,333 to $66,665) Anonymous Gerard and Sherryl Cohen† Mr. John Conklin Wayne Davis and Ann Merrifield*† Cerise Lim Jacobs, for Charles Susan W. Jacobs*† Butler and Lois Lampson* Massachusetts Cultural Council Mr. and Mrs. Neil Pappalardo* Janet and Irv Plotkin*† Mr. and Mrs. Michael Puzo*† Alicia Cooney Quigley and Stephen Quigley*§ Mr. and Mrs. Ray Stata* Lady Juliet and Dr. Christopher Tadgell*† Faith and Joseph W.‡ Tiberio Foundation 22 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

BLO gratefully acknowledges the generous donors who support artistic productions as well as youth, education, and community initiatives. Members at any level who make multi-year pledges receive a warm welcome into BLO’s Lyric Circle, special recognition in season programs with member benefits equaling the total amount given for the entire term of the pledge.

For more information or to become a member of the Orfeo Society or Friends of BLO, please call Sarah Blume at 617.542.4912 x228.

Mr. and Mrs. Wat Tyler* Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation Peter Wender*§ Presto ($25,000 to $33,332) Dorothy and David Arnold*†§ Nonnie and Rick Burnes* Katie and Paul Buttenwieser Fay Chandler Ted Cutler Robert and Susan Eastman* Mr. and Mrs. Amos B. Hostetter Jr. Karen Johansen and Gardner Hendrie The Klarman Family Foundation Ms. Abigail Mason* E. Lee and Slocumb Hollis Perry* William and Helen Pounds* Mr. David Shukis*†

Con Brio Members ($15,000 to $24,999) Ms. Ann Beha and Mr. Robert A. Radloff* Timothy and Rebecca Blodgett Mr. and Mrs. John Cabot Mr. and Mrs. Timothy and Jessica Donohue* Harold Alfond Foundation Tom and Anneliese Henderson* Ms. Amelia Katzen*† Maria Krokidas and Bruce Bullen*† Medical Information Technology Inc. Anne M. Morgan John and Susanne Potts* Rona and Arthur Rosenbaum Sandra A. Urie and Frank F. Herron* Allegro Members ($10,000 to $14,999) Sam and Nancy Altschuler Baupost Group, LLC Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Blumenthal Boston Private Bank & Trust Company Dr. and Mrs. Eric and Elaine Bucher† Ms. Ellen Cabot* The Catered Affair Dr. Charles C. Dickinson III and JoAnne Walton Dickinson* David and Pamela Donohue Esther B. Kahn Charitable Foundation Mr. Kenneth Freed* Nick and Marjorie Greville Mimi and Roger Hewlett*§ Emily C. Hood Ellen and Robert Kaplan*†§ Mr. and Mrs. William T. Kennedy* Stephen and Lois Kunian*† Karen Levy Dr. Maura McGrane Gregory E. Moore and Wynne W. Szeto Mr. and Mrs. Richard Olney III* Dr. Douglas Reeves and Amy Feind Reeves Mr. Michael Shanahan Susan A. Babson Opera Fund for Emerging Artists part of the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation Adagio Members ($5,000 to $9,999) Anonymous (5) The Acorn Foundation Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation Be Our Guest, Inc. Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Inc. BNY Mellon Ms. Joan Bok Judge and Mrs. Levin H. Campbell Ms. Elizabeth Coleman Mr. David Cole-Rous and Ms. Norma Greenberg*§ Mr. and Mrs. Linzee Coolidge Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. de Asla* Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Inc. William C. and Joyce K. Fletcher Mr. and Mrs. Tim and Lisa Fulham Mr. and Mrs. Frederick H. Grein Jr.*§ Dr. Kurt D. Gress and Mr. Samuel Y. Parkinson* Lila Gross* Mr. and Mrs. Don and Pat Hillman Mr. William Hunter Ms. Louise Johnson* Holly and Bruce Johnstone in Honor of Jane and Steven Akin Ms. Christine Letts Joe and Pam LoDato*†§ Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Anita Loscalzo*† Ms. M. Lynne Markus*† Judith K. Marquis and Keith F. Nelson

Individual donors Ms. Faith Moore National Endowment for the Arts Neiman Marcus Esther Nelson and Bernd Ulken Shari and Christopher Noe*† Mr. and Mrs. John O'Brien OPERA America Mr. Winfield Perry in Memory of Shirley and Kenneth Perry William and Lia Poorvu Robert and Elizabeth Pozen Mr. and Mrs. John Remondi Mr. and Mrs. George Sakellaris Santander Bank Andrew Sherman and Russ Lopez*† Larry and Beverly St. Clair* State Street Corporation John H. Deknatel and Carol M. Taylor Dr. Robert Walsh and Lydia Kenton Walsh Drs. Bertram and Laima Zarins* Grazioso ($3,000 to $4,999) Anonymous Widgie and Peter Aldrich Mr. Frederic Alper and Donna Mager The Amphion Foundation Anchor Capital Advisors Charles and Christina Bascom Mr. Martin S. Berman Annabelle and Benjamin Bierbaum Boston Cultural Council Mr. Gregory Bulger Mr. and Mrs. Alan and Jane Carr Nancy and Laury Coolidge Mr. Fred Daum Ms. Winifred F. Ewing Mr. and Mrs. Ron Feinstein Mr. David Friend and Ms. Margaret Shepherd Ron and Kathy Groves Mr. Joseph Hammer Mr. and Mrs. Morton Hoffman Dr. Maydee G. Lande Mary and Sherif Nada*§ D. Cosmo and Jane P. Papa* Dr. and Mrs. John William Poduska Sr. Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Mike and Rusty Rolland Nicholas G. Russell Allison Kay Ryder Lise and Myles Striar Tee Taggart and Jack Turner The Donald Taylor Family Foundation Mr. Richard Trant Bravissimo ($2,000 to $2,999) Anonymous Mr. and Mrs. John Bradley Ronald and Ellen Brown Cabot Corporation Mrs. Edmund Cabot Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Cabot David J. Chavolla John F. Cogan Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Marjorie B. and Martin Cohn Corning Incorporated Foundation Jonathan and Margot Davis Mr. James Geraghty Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hood Mr. Ryan Jimenez Ms. Caroline Murphy Dr. and Mrs. Edward Roberts Mr. Max Russell

Mr. and Mrs. Maximilian Steinmann Jeannie Ackerman Curhan and Joseph C. Williams Encore ($1,000 to $1,999) John and Rosemary Ashby Sarah E. Ashby Mr. and Mrs. David Bakalar Michael Barza and Judith Robinson Dr. Susan Bennett and Dr. Gerald Pier Ms. Deb Taylor Blair* Eric and Trimble Augur Bluman Dorothy and Hale Bradt Harold Carroll Chris and Lynne Chiodo Mr. Eugene Cox Mr. Len Davenport Wendy Driscoll and Thomas Driscoll Mr. Frazor Edmondson Mr. Peter C. Erichsen Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Franko Mr. and Mrs. Allen R. Freedman Mr. and Mrs. Dozier Gardner The Guttag Family Foundation Deborah A. Hawkins Julie and Bayard Henry Arthur and Eloise Hodges Eva R. Karger§ Kevin and Kimberly Kavanaugh Mr. Stephen Kidder Milling Kinard Mr. and Mrs. John Kucharski Yuriko Kuwabara and Sunny Dzik Pam Lassiter Mr. Edward J. Leary Richard and Mary Jane Lewontin Mr. and Mrs. David S. McCue Ms. Karen McShane Paul and Elaine O'Connell Pamela E. Pinsky Memorial at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Barbara Goodwin Papesch The Honorable and Mrs. Lawrence Perera Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Perkins Jr. Finley and Patricia Perry Dr. Joseph Plaud Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Ute Prevost Melinda and James Rabb Mr. Carl Rosenberg Donald and Abby Rosenfeld Mr. Jonathan F. Saxton Dr. and Mrs. R. Michael Scott Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Shafir Lisa G. Shaw Mrs. John Spooner Mr. and Mrs. Peter Stanton Edward H. Tate II Mike and Susie Thonis Winston Flowers Inc. Ensemble ($500 to $999) Anonymous Ms. Carol Ackerman Shoma Aditya and Constantin von Wentzel Mr. Mark Alcaide Joel Alvord and Lisa Schmid Marc and Carol Bard Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Bennett Mr. Russell Berg Leonard and Jane Bernstein Veronika and Bert Breer Ms. Sally T. Brewster Pam and Lee Bromberg

Mr. Thomas Burger Ann and Bob Buxbaum John and Kathleen Cabot Timothy and Sara Cabot Rachel and Thomas Claflin Mr. and Mrs. John Conley Dr. and Mrs. John Constable in Memory of Shirley Perry Mr. Paul Curtis Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Wendy Czarnecki Mr. James Deveer Andrew L. Eisenberg* Mr. Edward N. Gadsby Ms. Sonchu Gavell GE Foundation Dr. David Golan and Dr. Laura Green Luba Greenwood Bette Ann Harris Mr. Scott D. Harris Roberta and Doug Herman Doris and Howard Hunter Mr. Howell Jackson and Ms. Elizabeth Foote Mr. Doug Johnston and Ms. Susan Fagerstrom Ms. Mary Lapointe William B. Lawrence III Mr. and Mrs. Eric Lerner Drs. Lynne and Sidney Levitsky Michael and Dora Lewin Mr. and Mrs. Carl and Karin Lieberman Mr. and Mrs. Ham and Michelle Lord in Honor of Willa C. Bodman Mr. JR Lowry Mr. Anthony S. Lucas Peter and Betsy Madsen Dr. Harold Michlewitz & Ms. Dina Celeste Marshall Mr. Domenico Mastrototaro§ Ms. Amy Merrill Ms. Karen Metcalf Ms. Sandra Moose Melissa and David Norton Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Nunes Mr. and Mrs. John O'Donnell Eric and Jane Philippi Mr. and Mrs. E. Ricardo Quinones Mrs. Adrienne Rabkin Mr. Eben Rauhut Suzanne and Peter Read Clay and Emily Rives Adrianne and Hartley Rogers Mr. Malcolm Rogers* McKinney Russell Dr. and Mrs. Stefan Schatzki John and Ruth Schey Arthur and Linda Schwartz Drs. John and Elizabeth Serrage Mr. Wheeler Thackston UBS Financial Services, Inc. Tarlton Watkins and Janet Atkins Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Weld Mr. Stephen Walch and Ms. Linda Williams Ms. Sara G. Withington Ms. Mary Wolfson Aria ($250 to $499) Anonymous (4) Susan Alexander and Jim Gammill Mr. Peter Ambler and Ms. Lindsay Miller Ms. Alison Arshad Mr. Bernard Aserkoff Joseph and Janet Aucoin Dr. and Mrs. Martin Becker Elaine Beilin and Robert Brown Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 23

Individual donors Mr. John Belchers Mrs. Lisa Bell Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Benjamin Mr. and Mrs. Kenyon Bolton Dr. Roger Boshes Ms. Christine Bradt John and Irene Briedis Ms. Eleanor Carr Mr. and Mrs. Chris Carrigan Elizabeth Carvelli Verne and Madeline Caviness Ms. Mary Chamberlain Mr. Stanley Cheren Ms. Mei Po Cheung Ms. Ann Chiacchieri Ms. Ingrid Christiansen Mrs. Gale Cogan Patricia Comeau and John Adams Ms. Sally Fay Cottingham James F. Crowley Jr. Mr. Terry O. Decima Dr. Amos Deinard Ms. Francoise Delaforcade Ms. Margaret DePopolo Mr. Mark Donohoe Willis and Zach Durant-Emmons Ms. Jennifer Eckert Mr. Michael W. Ellmann Bill and Susan Elsbree Mrs. Terry England Louis Esposito Jack Fabiano and Noel McCoy Dr. Lisa Fitzgerald Michael S. Flier and David E. Trueblood Katherine and Richard Floyd Robert and Kathleen Garner Mr. and Mrs. Peter R. Gates Mr. Clayton Geiger Margaret and Bruce Gelin Mr. David Glen Mr. Philip Goldsmith Mr. Eric Green Mr. Stephen Grubaugh and Ms. Carol McGeehan Newell and Betty Hale Fund of Greater Worcester Anne and Neil Harper Mr. and Mrs. James J. Harper Mr. Harvey Hayashi Ms. Jasjit Heckathorn Richard Hermon-Taylor and Southie Bundy Mr. and Mrs. Thomas High Mr. Roger Hinman Pauline Ho Bynum Robert and Phyllis Hoffman Fred and Caroline Hoppin Ms. Maisie Houghton Dr. and Mrs. Steven E. Janko Mr. Rufus Jarman Ms. Ann Johnson Ms. Elizabeth Jordan Ms. Elizabeth Karpati Ms. Elizabeth Kastner Mr. Robert Kiely Mr. Richard Kimball Dr. Lester Kobzik Jonathan and Deborah Kolb Mr. George Kostich Laurence and Maryel Locke Mr. Paul Lopes Lorraine Lyman Mr. and Mrs. Stuart E. Madnick Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas Mastroianni Mr. James M. McCloy 24 | Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014

Mary and Michael McConnell Mr. and Mrs. Kilmer McCully Anna McDormand Ms. Carol McKeen and Mr. John Dunton Mr. and Mrs. Robert McKersie Mr. Shlomo Meislin Harnas Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Moore Ms. Virginia Murray Mr. Kameel Nasr Bill Nigreen and Kathleen McDermott Mr. Justin O'Connell and Ms. Danielle Sheer Ms. Suzanne Ogden and Mr. Peter Rogers Mr. Richard Ortner Jack Osgood Mr. Alan D. Ouellette Mr. Eugene Papa Olivia and John Parker Ms. Anne Peretz James and Jeannette Post Gerald Powers Ms. Florence Poy David and Joan Preston Mr. and Mrs. William Quigley Mr. Jack Reynolds Mr. and Mrs. James Righter Donald and Nancy Rosenfield Mr. Simon Rosenthal Mark and Lori Roux Ms. Ursula Rowan and Mr. Andrew Szent-Gyorgi Ms. Sarah Salter David and Jocelyn Sand Aviva Sapers and Judith Sydney Stephen and Peg Senturia Varda and Dr. Israel Shaked Robert V. Sillars and Mildred G. Worthington Ms. Elizabeth Sluder Mr. Richard W. Smith Ms. Sandra Steele and Mr. Paul Greenfield Mr. Stephen Steiner in Memory of Shirley Perry Mrs. William Sweet Ramona Tanabe Mr. David Teller Ms. Beth Thomson Ms. Diane Tillotson Michael and Helen Tomich Mr. Nicholas Tranquillo Mr. Konstantin Tyurin and Ms. Kirstin Ilse Mr. Anton Vrame Dr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Walther Linda and Harvey Weiner Ms. Ruth Wells Ms. Ashley Wisneski Mr. Stephen Wohler Ms. Emily Woods Ms. Mildred Worthington Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wulff Mr. Evan Xenakis Joan and Michael Yogg Diane Young-Spitzer and Adelbert Spitzer Albert and Judith Zabin Norma and Gunars Zagars Cheryl and Mark Zarrillo Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Zilberfarb

Special thanks to the anonymous family foundation whose $1 million gift to BLO launched the Envision Opera Challenge. Now in the final year of the 4 year, $4 million Challenge, BLO recognizes donors (in blue) who support Opera Annex, new productions, and new works. BLO encourages all donors to consider a qualifying gift to the Challenge this year. To learn more, visit: or call Sarah Blume at 617.542.4912 x228.

Envision Opera Challenge Blue Board Member * Lyric Circle Member † Goldovsky Society Member § Deceased ‡ Marullo, costume design by Victoria Tzykun

The Board, Friends, and Staff of Boston Lyric Opera are honored to dedicate our March 16 matinee performance of Rigoletto to the memory of

Dean and Patti Freed subscribers since 1995

Through their bravura participation in BLO’s Goldovsky Society, Dean and Patti left a generous bequest to our endowment fund. Their involvement and support will continue to benefit Boston Lyric Opera, as well as allied cultural arts in Boston, for generations to come.

I believe in supporting our activities. Our planned gift will provide fundamental support. With an enhanced budget, I recognize that BLO could improve its productions even more. It will be a gift with no strings attached. – Dean Freed, April 2010

The Boris Goldovsky Society By remembering Boston Lyric Opera with a bequest or other planned gift vehicle, 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.

Boston lyric opera Rigoletto 2014 | 25

Rigoletto Program  

Boston Lyric Opera presents Verdi's Rigoletto. This production of Rigoletto is a coproduction of Boston Lyric Opera, The Atlanta Opera, and...