In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Transforming Spaces for Opera

Apr 18, 2018 12:23:47 PM
By BLO Staff

Boston Lyric Opera has a long history of creativity in transforming existing spaces for opera.

The most unique example of this is our upcoming production of Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles. We are transforming the DCR Steriti Memorial Rink into an intimate cabaret space inspired by the Manhattan nightclubs of the 1950s. Set rendering below by Designer Paul Tate dePoo III:

Tahiti Rendering 2.14.18 - email

We asked our Production & Technical Director Anna B. Labykina how and why this space was chosen. She answers in our blog post: Opera in an Ice Rink? 

Check out the space before the transformation. And watch Tahiti cast members Neil Ferreira and Mara Bonde announce the venue on skates!


The Boston Globe took notice of this bold choice. Read their article: Opera comes to an unlikely location: a skating rink.

also chimed in, focusing on how BLO builds its spaces to create the best sound experience: Setting the Stage: Creating Great Acoustics at Different Venues.


Have we done this before?

Yes, several times! Here are a few of our favorite examples:

In 2015, we transformed the BCA Cyclorama for our production of Philip Glass' In the Penal Colony. (Before photo by The Huntington News. After photos by T. Charles Erickson).


The Penal Colony BLO 11-15 065

The Penal Colony BLO 11-15 095
We built our set in Temple Ohabei Shalom for our 2014 production of The Love Potion. We had to remove rows of pews inside the temple to build our stage and seating. Before photo by Studio Gruss. After photos by Wicked Local Brookline and Eric Antoniou, respectively.


_DSC8991_LoPo_Isolt_ropes_wideshot_E.Antoniou BLO

We transformed the gorgeous John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum into the set for our 2012 production of The Lighthouse. Before photo by After photos by Erik Jacobs.



Want to see how we do it from start to finish?

Watch this time-lapse of Boston Lyric Opera's Production Team building the set for our World Premiere production of The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare at the BCA Cyclorama:


Join us for our most uniquely transformed space yet at Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles May 11-20 in the North End.

Buy TAHITI Tickets


Topics: New Production, scenic design, Burke & Hare, #BurkeBLO, world premiere, #tahitiBLO, Leonard Bernstein, creative team

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