The ancient Roman tale of the violation of the virtuous Lucretia by the vicious Tarquinius receives a haunting treatment as two modern observers, one male and one female, attempt to interpret the events even as they unfold. The pair seeks to find spiritual meaning and redemption in a hellish act of violence.
Britten composed The Rape of Lucretia in 1946, in a world still reeling from the horrors of World War II. The opera continues to resonate today as we face a rising surge of violence throughout the world.
A chamber opera, written for a small orchestra and cast, The Rape of Lucretia is perfectly suited for the Maryland Opera Studio’s fall production, which uses minimal scenic and costume elements to focus the storytelling on the singers’ voices and acting.
An innocent boy, son to a family of goatherds is found to be heir to the kingdom. Riches and luxury are laid at his feet but at what cost to others?
The Maryland Opera Studio pairs two radically different tellings of the Orpheus myth — Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers — in their fully produced Spring opera. In Gluck’s version, Orpheus, the greatest musician the world has ever known, receives permission from the gods to venture into Hades and bring his beloved Eurydice back from death, but with a cruel stipulation that leads to tragedy.
Offenbach turns the tragic tale on its head; the mythic lovers are a wrangling pair of dissatisfied newlyweds. Orpheus’ music gets on Eurydice’s nerves, and she’s willing to die and go to Hell when a handsome shepherd (really Pluto in disguise) offers her the trip. Only Public Opinion forces Orpheus to seek permission from the gods to follow her.
A full orchestra and large cast of singers and dancers bring this double spectacle to life with beautiful lighting, costumes and sets, an annual collaboration between the School of Music and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.