In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

A View from the Rehearsal Room with Sandra Piques Eddy!

Mar 4, 2015 2:55:00 PM
By BLO Staff

Sandra Piques Eddy is an acclaimed mezzo-soprano and a Boston native. She is singing the role of Varvara in the upcoming BLO production of Kátya Kabanová, and we caught up with her this week to get her perspective on the rehearsal process, coming home to Boston, and more!

We are in full swing with Kátya Kabanová rehearsals at Boston Lyric Opera. We had our "Stagger-Through" yesterday (basically same as a "Run-Through," but it sounds less daunting for all of us who are jumping into the Janáček pool for the first time!), and I daresay we are ready for our "Final Room Run" tonight. I'm excited to hear the chorus this week, the orchestra tomorrow, and see lots of familiar faces. As a native Bostonian, I'm always thrilled to sing at home among friends on stage, in the pit, in the wings, behind the scenes, and for friends and family in the audience. There's nothing else like it!

Here I am, "stuck" at my last gig with Portland Opera,
working on Kátya. My flight to Boston was canceled, so I
missed the first couple days of our rehearsal process!

Another great aspect of coming back home is knowing what is expected of us even before rehearsals begin. I've been so fortunate to work with the wonderful Maestro David Angus on many concerts and four operas now. Our last opera together was here in Boston, the recent Così Fan Tutte at BLO, in English. I've also been so fortunate to work with our fantastic director, Tim Albery, a few times, most recently last fall at Opera North (UK) in his and Maestro Laurence Cummings' own translation of The Coronation of Poppea. We even opted out of supertitles for that production! Brave, huh? And it worked!! I knew coming into this rehearsal process for Kátya that diction and clearly communicating our story were paramount! We are singing this beautiful opera in English, and we all feel strongly about telling this story as clearly as possible. 

Wishful thinking at Endicott station,
commuting into Boston for Kátya rehearsal!

Ok. Now, I have a confession. Ready? It was only just recently, as I started to explain this plot to my mom (a big supporter of me, but not an operagoer unless I'm in a production), that I realized that Kátya is a fantastic introduction to opera. I was struck by how QUICKLY the opera flies by when we were in the middle of the Stagger-Through yesterday. The drama is swiftly executed, and there are moments of levity among the tragedy. The music is rip-your-heart-out-gorgeous. I have been haunted by these gorgeous melodies while trying to stay positive over the last few weeks, commuting in on the unreliable MBTA! I feel so lucky to be right in the middle of this and with such a ridiculously talented team working together. It should always be this good...Am I right?

So, I am here to encourage you to introduce a friend to opera with this moving production of Kátya Kabanová. When your friend asks about the plot, simply tell him or her that it is a story of forbidden love and the worst mother-in-law imaginable. Oh and bring tissues! No spoilers but... Wow... That last scene!!!

Fun with hats and coats and bags in rehearsal with Elaine Alvarez,
who is singing the role of Kátya in our production!
P.S. Are you a "friend of Sandy"? Use code SANDY46
to get $46.50, no-fee
at or
866.348.9738 – but hurry, this offer expires Monday, March 9!
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