Boston Lyric Opera

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Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) is an American opera company based in Boston, Massachusetts, founded in 1976.

Current Season[edit]

In the 2018-2019 season, Boston Lyric Opera will produce The Barber of Seville, Schoenberg in Hollywood; The Rape of Lucretia; and the east coast premiere of Poul Ruder's The Handmaid's Tale. The Barber of Seville, Gioachino Rossini's celebrated classic, will be performed from October 12th-21st at the Cutler Majestic Theatre and directed by Rosetta Cucchi, with Argentine mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack as the feisty Rosina. As a part of BLO's new work commissioning program, the world-premiere of Tod Machover and Simon Robson's Schoenberg in Hollywood, based on a scenario by Braham Murray, will be presented from November 14th-18th at the Paramount Theatre (Boston, Massachusetts).

The Spring of 2019 will feature a new production of Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter in South Boston, and will feature Kelley O'Connor in the title role. The season closes with the East-Coast premiere of Poul Ruders' The Handmaid's Tale, based on the famous novel by Margaret Atwood presented at the newly-renovated Lavietes Pavilion at Harvard University. This production will feature one of the largest principal casts in several seasons, and three-dozen chorus members. Jennifer Johnson Cano sings the pivotal role of Offred.


Each season, BLO produces four mainstage productions in the Greater-Boston area, one of which is a featured new work. BLO receives partial funding from a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. BLO regularly invests in co-productions with other U.S. companies including New York City Opera, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera.

BLO's community work has included participation in the "Egypt in Boston" thematic season that celebrated Egypt at several of Boston’s leading cultural institutions in 1999–2000. In the summer of 2002, BLO produced "Carmen on the Common", a community-outreach initiative of a summer-long education series which culminated in two free, fully staged outdoor performances of Bizet's Carmen on Boston Common.[1] Similar plans were scheduled for Verdi's Aida in the 2005–2006 season, but were cancelled because of insufficient financial support.[2]

Creative personnel[edit]

The conductor, John Balme served as general director from 1979 to 1989. Janice Mancini Del Sesto was general director of BLO from 1992 to 2008. During her tenure, the company's budget grew from $800,000 (USD) to $6 million (USD).[3] Since 2008, BLO's general and artistic director of BLO is Esther Nelson.[4] Stephen Lord was BLO music director from 1991 to 2008. In June 2010, BLO announced the appointment of David Angus as the company's next music director, as of the 2010–2011 season, and he continues to lead the company.[5]

In 2010, BLO commissioned a work from composer Richard Beaudoin to precede its February 2011 performances of Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis.[6] Beaudoin responded with a 20-minute work for singers and chamber ensemble.[7]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Richard Dyer (2005-03-22). "Lyric Opera to bring free performances of 'Aida' to the Common". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  2. ^ Geoff Edgers (2005-12-20). "Donor shortage halts plan for free 'Aida'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  3. ^ Geoff Edgers (2007-11-21). "General director to leave Boston Lyric Opera". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-10.[dead link]
  4. ^ Jeremy Eichler (2008-11-09). "Setting the stage". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  5. ^ Jeremy Eichler (2010-06-25). "Classical Notes: BLO names David Angus new music director". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  6. ^ Huffington Post: Rahim Kanani, "An In-depth Discussion with Esther Nelson of the Boston Lyric Opera," November 4, 2010, Retrieved January 10, 2011
  7. ^ Opera America: "Thirty-Four U.S. Opera Companies to Feature American Operas over the Next Two Season", Retrieved January 10, 2011


  • Cowden, Robert H., Opera Companies of the World: Selected Profiles. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992. ISBN 0-313-26220-9

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