Boston University College of Fine Arts is pleased to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its Fall Fringe Festival, a collaboration between the Opera Institute and School of Theatre whose 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.

On Friday, October 14, Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg’s Hydrogen Jukebox open the Fringe Festival. Later this month, the Opera Institute and School of Theatre collaborate to stage Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest (A Play about Romania), as well as The Werther Project, a one-night-only presentation of most of Massenet’s score combined with narrations and readings from Goethe’s original text.

“This year’s Fringe Festival provides a fascinating contrast between two styles of musical and poetic languages,” says William Lumpkin, Director of the Opera Institute. “Werther’s emotional extremes that gave birth to the German romantic “sturm and drang” era collide with the beatnik motif of Hydrogen Jukebox, which Allen Ginsberg described as ‘to relieve human suffering by communicating some kind of enlightened awareness of various themes, topics, obsessions, neuroses, difficulties, perplexities that we encounter…’”

Hydrogen Jukebox
Composed by Philip Glass | Libretto by Allen Ginsberg
Music Direction by Allison Voth & Matthew Larson | Stage Direction by Emily Ranii

October 14-16, 2016
Friday, October 14, 7:30pm
Saturday, October 15, 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, October 16, 2pm

Created as a portrait of American from the 1950s through the 1980s, Hydrogen Jukebox was composed after a chance meeting between composer Philip Glass, and Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg. Through Glass’ minimalist style, and Ginsberg’s poetry on topics ranging from the anti-war movement to the environment, the opera touches on many of America’s enduring social issues. Sung in English.

BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210

Mad Forest
A Play from Romania by Caryl Churchill | Directed by Judy Braha

October 27-30, 2016
Thursday, October 27, 7:30pm
Friday, October 27, 7:30pm (CFA Visitors’ Day/Talk-Back)
Saturday, October 29, 2pm (Talk-Back) & 7:30pm
Sunday, October 30, 2pm

A timely drama, resulting from a trip to Romania and developed with students from London’s Central School of Drama, this is an incisive portrait of society in turmoil that focuses on two families to reveal what life is like under a totalitarian regime and what results when the regime collapses.

BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210

The Werther Project
Composed by Jules Massenet
Libretto by Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann
Music Direction by William Lumpkin | Stage Direction by Nathan Troup
Dramaturgy by Jerrold Pope and Allison Voth

October 28, 2016
Friday, October 28, 7:30pm

In the spirit of CFA’s 2012 La traviata, part of the Verdi Project, this performance will feature most of Massenet’s score combined with narrations and readings from the original text. Sung in French with English supertitles.

Boston University Theatre

Tickets: $7
Box Office: BostonTheatreScene.com

“In each of these compositions, immeasurable societal and cultural change can be attributed to both composer and poet, and the universal themes of each opera are at the heart of our 2016 Fall Fringe Festival,” concludes Lumpkin.

For 20 years, William Lumpkin, Director of the BU Opera Institute, and Jim Petosa, School of Theatre Director, have brought unique theatrical performances to the University’s stages. Together, they’ve worked to create over two dozen diverse and extraordinary productions that combine a masterful blending of drama and music compiled into three main events every October.

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