Friday, February 10, 2012

Visit The Lighthouse this weekend

It's a busy weekend for arts fans, but the do-not-miss event is Boston Lyric Opera's production of Peter Maxwell Davies' The Lighthouse (above), at the JFK Library, through this weekend only.  I have a few caveats about the production (don't worry, the singing and musical direction are both strong); but simply put, it represents the most brilliant integration of opera into an existing space that I've ever seen in Boston.  Designer/director Tim Albery, with set designer Camellia Koo and lighting designer Thomas C. Hase, take every advantage of their striking setting on Boston harbor (and devise a few fresh coups of their own) to conjure Davies' brilliant vision of isolation, paranoia and madness. Inevitably, in a room not designed for opera, there are a few acoustic hiccups, and the cast doesn't quite reach the dramatic pitch that they achieve vocally.  But the overall impression is nevertheless exciting, at times almost overwhelming.  After a misconceived Macbeth last fall, and the recent Opera Boston debacle, it's wonderful to see BLO back on track, and working at such a high intellectual and conceptual level.

Elsewhere, however, there's also plenty to see.  Here's what I'm going to try to squeeze in: tonight there's the delightful keyboardist Richard Egarr at Boston Early Music; tomorrow, I'm wrapping Lepage's Ring Cycle with the six-hour-plus Götterdämmerung at the mall, followed by Boston Ballet's "Simply Sublime" (which should be just that). Then Sunday, I'm catching the Actors' Shakespeare Project's new production of Medea, then dashing over to Boston Baroque to hear the great Christina Day Martinson work her way through the Biber "Mystery Sonatas."

And then I'll tell everybody what I thought of everything.


  1. Replies
    1. I'll be interested in your Gotterdammerung comments. I saw it at the MET on Saturday and thought it the best, least least problematic integration of La Machine into the performance of the four Ring operas. I have a suspicion that the lack of body doubles here and in Siegfried and much more experience with how to use the technology this year was the tipping point. I hope they go back at some point and rethink the first two or three operas.

      The Lighthouse was riveting -- one of the best things I have seen in Boston and right up there with the lamented OB's The Nose and a few other landmark productions.