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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Greek Tidbits and Inside Info

Nov 19, 2016 2:54:22 PM
By Laura Stanfield Prichard posted in #GreekBLO

After Mark-Anthony Turnage studied at Tanglewood Music Center with Hans Werner Henze in 1983, Henze arranged a commission from him for the Munich Biennale, and thus Greek premiered in 1988. The “then unknown, twenty-five-year-old English composer” had “never written a piece longer than fifteen minutes,” but established a growing international reputation after the enthusiastic reception to Greek’s world premiere. Greek won two awards and was a highlight of the 1988 Edinburgh Festival.
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HIGH NOTES: A little light Oedipus entertainment

Nov 15, 2016 5:15:38 PM
By John Conklin posted in BLO, #BLO40, #GreekBLO

Perhaps we could all use some diversion from the agonies of Eddy and Oedipus! Tom Lehrer has one of the most remarkable biographies I have come across recently. Check him out: Tom Lehrer. Long associated with Boston, Harvard, and MIT both as scholar and as an ultra-smart satirist, he here memorably sums up the eternal Oedipal dilemma.
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Mark Anthony Turnage Interview

Nov 15, 2016 4:39:57 PM
By Richard Dyer posted in #GreekBLO

The world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s first opera, Greek, took place on June 17, 1988 in Munich, Germany. The British composer had just turned 28, and his violent, visceral, in-your-face adaptation of the Oedipus myth propelled him into the forefront of composers of his generation.
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HIGH NOTES: Dryden, Furies, Oedipus—and the power of music

Nov 14, 2016 2:22:00 PM
By John Conklin posted in BLO, #BLO40, #GreekBLO

John Dryden’s reworking of Sophocles, entitled Oedipus, was one of the most performed plays of English Restoration drama, full of relish in the descriptions of the story’s more violent and bloodthirsty elements that appealed mightily to the public. In 1692 Purcell set parts of it to music, including “Music for a While,” one of his most familiar and striking works…however incongruous it seems in its restraint and calmness compared with the tumultuous drama of the narrative.
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The Turmoil of Thatcher’s London

Nov 14, 2016 9:50:24 AM
By Lacey Upton posted in BLO, #GreekBLO, Thatcherism

Greek, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 1988 operatic setting of the Oedipus story, is set in the gritty, seething political turmoil of 1980s London: the era of Thatcherism, of extreme political and social changes, and of artistic and cultural revolt. The prosperity and triumph of capitalism that marked Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister from 1979-1990 were not without cost or controversy—especially in the arts.
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HIGH NOTES: More trips down Oedipus lane

Nov 4, 2016 12:39:15 PM
By John Conklin posted in BLO, #BLO40, #GreekBLO

BLO is moving into high gear with its upcoming production of Greek, by Mark-Anthony Turnage. Night Journey is a 1947 Martha Graham ballet performed to a harsh, dramatic score by William Schuman, with costumes by Graham and sets by her longtime collaborator, the sculptor Isamu Noguchi. She noted that “the action takes place in Jocasta’s heart at the instant when she recognizes the ultimate terms of her destiny.”
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HIGH NOTES: And so it begins...

Oct 27, 2016 10:18:59 AM
By John Conklin posted in BLO, #BLO40, #GreekBLO

BLO is moving into high gear with its upcoming production of the vivid, disturbing and highly theatrical opera Greek, by Mark-Anthony Turnage. Rehearsal have just started, sets are being built, costumes fitted…all in preparation for a November 16th opening.
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HIGH FIVE: Get to Know Greek in 5 Minutes or Less

Oct 21, 2016 1:59:39 PM
By BLO Staff posted in BLO, #BLO40, HIGH FIVE, #GreekBLO

HIGH FIVE: Get to Know Greek in 5 Minutes or Less. The setting is London’s East End, where the aimless Eddy lives with his parents. Upon learning of a fortuneteller’s prediction he will kill his father and marry his mother, Eddy storms off in search of love and adventure.
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THE HERO: Complexes and All

Oct 13, 2016 1:20:23 PM
By John Conklin posted in Oedipus, Oedipal Complex, Psychoanalysis, Freud, #GreekBLO

Few concepts from modern psychology have entered the cultural and popular imagination to the extent of Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex. At once a source of revulsion and titillation, the theory that young boys desire their mothers and hate their fathers is named for the ancient myth of Oedipus, who unwittingly fulfills an oracle’s prophecy that he will marry his mother and kill his father.
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HIGH NOTES: Portrait of a Sphinx

Oct 6, 2016 10:36:41 AM
By John Conklin posted in Oedipus, #GreekBLO, Sphinx

The Sphinx—a creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion (and often with the wings of bird) occurs in many cultures. The Egyptian Sphinx is typically depicted as a man, a benevolent guardian and the bearer of mysterious knowledge and secrets.
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