A Lady Never Kisses and Tells

Benjamin Britten’s Rape of Lucretia is a simple story of morality and virtue that is drawn out to epic proportions. While The Boston Conservatory performs each role with gusto, the opera seemed tired, expiring long before the final note. With such high quality at the school, I suspect the source material is to blame with its odd narrators, lengthy exposition, and lack of exciting dynamics between characters.

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Three Stars Roll Along

Characters in theatre almost always know more about themselves than audience members; the characters have lived in a fictional world before the play’s action. However, it’s a rare treat when an audience knows more about the play’s world and characters than the characters themselves. Such is Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, an innovative musical (for its time) which is told in reverse chronological order.

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Boston Conservatory’s "The Magic Flute" Plays Perfect Melody

In the late eighteen century, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart premiered his exhilarating and hilarious new opera, Die Zauberflöte, which continues to excite audiences today under its English name, The Magic Flute. When I taught kindergarten before law school, I taught a mini-lesson on opera, showcasing The Magic Flute. The look of delight as the children heard the soaring arias is a priceless gift of education for which everyone should experience. I experienced this similar joy and jubilation when I saw Boston Conservatory’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte). Conducted by 2013 My Theatre Award Nominee and Boston Conservatory’s Music Director of Opera Studies Andrew Altenbach, the show is “a semi-staged concert production” with outstanding stage direction by Johnathon Pape, the Director of Opera Studies at Boston Conservatory. Frankly, re-reading this caveat in the program made me laugh because they did not “semi-stage” this gem, but produced a fully-realized production with enough spectacle and charm to wow its audience into a standing ovation and multiple bows.

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Musical Theatre's Stars of Tomorrow

Boston Conservatory (BoCo) has always held a special place in my heart. Factory Girls was one of my first reviews for this site just under a year ago. I have gone to see a few BoCo shows since then and I’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of work produced, from the singing, to the dancing, to the professional atmosphere. I was fortunate to catch the first MFA class’s solo cabaret performances. A mixture of breathtaking songs and candid conversation with the audience showcased five members BoCo’s MFA class, advised by Fran Charnas, BoCo’s Graduate Musical Theatre Thesis director, and accompanied by Steven Ladd Jones.

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