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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Stravinsky Arrested in Boston for Desecration

Mar 7, 2017 10:57:38 AM
By John Conklin

Boston Globe: Did the Star-Spangled Banner land Stravinsky in jail?

desecration.jpg

An irresistible headline, a famous photograph…but it may all be just a kind of urban legend, “fake news” before its time. The real story is rather more complex and interesting.

 

Stravinsky’s National Anthem

It all seems a little anti-climatic when your hear the arrangement…not as bold as promised.

 

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, 1969

Now THIS is bold.

 

Louise Homer

This famous, international opera diva had many Boston connections. Born in Pittsburg in 1871, she studied in Philadelphia but ended up in Boston, where she met and married the composer Sidney Homer. She performed in vaudeville here at the Bijou Opera House and became a favorite of Boston society at numerous (undoubtedly elegant) musical soirees. She made her Met debut in 1900 (as Amneris in Verdi’s Aida), where she sang for 19 seasons. She was in the opening opera of the Boston Opera Company singing the role of La Cieca in La Gioconda opposite Lillian Nordica, and sang with the company until it closed in 1915.

 

John McCormack

One final version to close with—the version that charted at #1 in May of 1917.

 

JOHN CONKLIN is an internationally-recognized set designer and dramaturg. He has designed sets on and off-Broadway, at the Kennedy Center and for opera companies around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bastille Opera in Paris, the Royal Opera and the opera houses of Munich, Amsterdam, and Bologna, among many others. Mr. Conklin is on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School and has served as the Artistic Advisor to BLO since 2009.

 

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Topics: BLO, #BLO40, #RakesBLO, Stravinsky

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