In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Strange and spooky origins

Jan 26, 2012 10:39:00 AM
By BLO Staff

The story
of The Lighthouse caught the
fascination of myself and fellow assistant stage manager, Ginger Castleberry,
when we looked up the location of the historical events on which the opera is
based, see it on a map:

Who knows what really happened on this isolated group of rocks? The real-life
Northern Lighthouse Board investigation (the opera's Court of Enquiry)
concluded that all three lighthouse keepers were swept out to sea by a powerful
wave, but no bodies were ever found washed ashore …

Ginger and I initially theorized the Loch Ness Monster was to blame for the
disappearance of the men. After all, Nessie would have been hungry after a
300-mile swim between Loch Ness and the Flannan Isles. However, when we staged
the final moments of the opera yesterday, director Tim Albery has provided us a
more intriguing—and plausible—interpretation of the final moments of the
keepers. The score blurs past and present in a way that gave us clues of how
the story could fit together. With only a three person cast, the singers have
been delving into the mystery from the perspective of the lighthouse keepers
when they were confined together on duty, the relief officers who discovered
the empty lighthouse, and impartial narrators after the whole event. You'll
have to come and see to be your own judge of the keepers' fate!

--Courtney Rizzo, Assistant Stage Manager

Topics: behind the scenes, Opera Annex, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, The Lighthouse

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