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Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Student Reactions to the Opera- & Film-Infused SCHOENBERG IN HOLLYWOOD

Nov 21, 2018 11:45:49 AM
By BLO Staff

LizaVollPhotography-7654BLO welcomed dozens of undergraduate and graduate students to the Final Dress Rehearsal of Schoenberg in Hollywood, the World Premiere opera composed by Tod Machover, with libretto by Simon Robson based on a scenario by Braham Murray. A unique fusion of opera, theater, film, and electronics, this opera illuminates the iconic 20th-century composer Arnold Schoenberg, the inventor of the twelve tone method of composition, at a crossroads in his life: having escaped the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, Schoenberg arrives in 1930s Hollywood and is offered the opportunity to compose for films. Can he find a way to reconcile reflection with action, and tradition with revolution? What is the meaning of art in the wake of atrocity? And ultimately, who is Arnold Schoenberg?

Here's what our incredible student audience had to say about the production:


Never taking itself too seriously, Schoenberg in Hollywood is full of wit and spontaneity. …The videos provide a wonderful subtext and two separate layers of action being performed on the stage. … The music was incredible, the set design and technology superb, and the writing clever and never too serious or too comedic. The perfect balance! –Berklee College of Music Student


I was very impressed with the "film noir" section of the performance. While a character discovering infidelity in their marriage is emotional in the first place, framing it as a film noir gave an interesting new look at the life-changing moment. –Northeastern University Undergraduate


I thought that the use of the screen was very unique. It helped give context to Schoenberg’s life through alternative ways. My favorite part was when the orchestra was revealed! –Northeastern University Undergraduate



Read Press, See Photos, and More from the World Premiere Production of Schoenberg in Hollywood:

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Images (top to bottom): Irving Thalberg (center, Jesse Darden) invites Schoenberg (Omar Ebrahim) to compose for films. Mathilde Schoenberg (Sara Womble) reads reviews to Schoenberg (Ebrahim), while Schoenberg's contemporaries (Darden, left) look on. Schoenberg (Ebrahim) confronts Mathilde (Womble) and her lover, Richard Gerstl (Darden) in a film noir-style sequence. Schoenberg, center, recommits to his vision for the future, as the orchestra is revealed upstage. (flanked by Womble and Darden). All photos by Liza Voll Photography.

Topics: Student Night at the Opera, #ArtsEdBLO, Identity, Opera history, 2018/19 Season, school partnerships, #HollywoodBLO, Schoenberg

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