Boston University’s Fringe Festival this year features two operas which might interest BMInt readers. Running October 4-6 at BU’s Lane-Comley Studio 210, Jonathan Dove’s one-act opera, Siren Song is the opener. Conducted by CFA’s William Lumpkin with stage direction by School of Theatre Director Jim Petosa, the opera was inspired by Gordon Honeycombe’s novel and debuted at the Almeida Opera Theatre stage in 1994. Dove tells the story of a love-starved sailor who becomes entangled in an affair with a pen pal he believes to be a lonely young woman, but who turns out to be a deceitful and callous man.
“I fell in love with Dove’s opera, Flight, when I had the pleasure of conducting its American premiere,” said Lumpkin. “It has been a delight to come back to his earlier opera, Siren song, and to discover some of the germs of Flight. Jonathan Dove and Nick Dear create a sensual, provocative, and chilling tale that takes us into the rabbit hole of one man’s imaginations.” Three YouTube excerpts from a 2007 production begin here.
Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters plays October 11-13. Premiered in 2011, the work focuses on five “sister-wives” in a polygamous Mormon compound, all married to a stern “Prophet” who uses the language of righteousness to hold them in fearful bondage conjures an atmosphere of stifling oppression. An alumnus of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Muhly is enjoying a moment in the New York City spotlight as a contemporary classical composer and arranger. His opera, Two Boys is making its Metropolitan Opera debut this fall. Guest stage director, David Gately and music director Allison Voth collaborate on the production.
For 17 years, the Boston University College of Fine Arts annual Fringe Festival has been a popular fixture in CFA’s fall event schedule. A collaboration between the School of Music Opera Institute and the School of Theatre, the festival’s mission is to produce new or rarely performed significant works in the opera and theatre repertoire, bringing performers and audiences together in unique theatrical settings.
Tickets now on sale: $7 general admission; $3.50 CFA Membership; one free ticket with BU ID at the door, subject to availability. Box Office: bu.edu/cfa/fringe or 617.933.8600.