(Boston) – Twelve travelers form an unlikely group when they find themselves together in a train station with nothing but luggage to identify each other. With each character more quirky than the last, how is one to determine the truth behind each of these entertainers? Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, premiered in 1971, is an exploration of the human mind and seeks to uncover the true identities of these strangers and their reasons for waiting for this train. Presented by the Boston University School of Music Opera Institute and School of Theatre, this one-act opera runs February 22-25 on the mainstage at the Boston University Theatre.
Jim Petosa, Director of the BU School of Theatre and Stage Director of this production, says, “Postcard from Morocco was born in an era of deep experimentation. Our own production revisits this unique opera in that spirit. We are exploring the score and the text as though for the first time, and gleaning from its mysterious clues a theatrical journey that recasts its curious and beguiling stories of individual travelers, who literally carry their life secrets with them everywhere they go. Some are damned by their burdens, but some escape.” Petosa and conductor William Lumpkin lead two casts of singers from the Opera Institute and the School of Music Vocal Program in this eclectic opera, with a chamber orchestra from the School of Music and production design by students in the School of Theatre.
Postcard from Morocco is one of two featured operas in the twentieth anniversary season of the Boston University Opera Institute, which was founded by renowned soprano Phyllis Curtin during her tenure as Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Every season, the Opera Institute and the School of Theatre present two fully-realized mainstage opera productions and a Fall Fringe Festival at the Boston University Theatre to give students experience in a wide array of productions. Sharon Daniels, Director of Opera Programs and the Opera Institute for the BU School of Music since 1996, explains, “The training of the ‘now opera singer’ demands experience and training in the performance styles of diverse repertoire. Postcard from Morocco offers our singers the opportunity to embrace not only the unique and complex contemporary genre of Dominick Argento and John Donahue, but also the dynamic leadership of stage director Jim Petosa.” She continues, “Mr. Petosa has become a regular member of the Institute team as one of our acting teachers and collaborator for stage direction, design, and our Fringe Festival, and brings a fresh and exciting interpretation of this unusual score through the production values and each individual performance.”
The Boston University Opera Institute is one of the premier programs of the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. Founded in 1987 by Dean Emerita Phyllis Curtin, and under the leadership of Director of Opera Programs Sharon Daniels since 1995, the Opera Institute is a non-degree professional training program for the advanced singer preparing for an operatic career. Chosen by special audition, twelve emerging, professional singers are given free tuition and stipends for an innovative two-year residency that provides the crucial transition between student training and professional performance. It also serves as the center of opera training for degree Vocal Performance majors who audition for roles to perform alongside Opera Institute singers. Graduates of the Opera Institute go on to pursue high profile careers in major American companies and leading European opera houses, win prestigious competitions, and can be heard on a variety of recordings. In addition to the Opera Institute certificate program, the School of Music offers degrees in performance, composition and theory, musicology, music education, collaborative piano, historical performance, as well as artist and performance diplomas.
The Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre, founded in 1954, is one of the country’s leading institutions for the study of acting, stage management, design and production, and all aspects of the theatrical profession. Since 1982, the School of Theatre has enjoyed an educational and artistic collaboration with the Huntington Theatre Company, the professional theatre in residence at Boston University. Other professional theatre affiliations include Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Guthrie Theater, Olney Theatre Center, Pendragon Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Notable School of Theatre alumni include Jason Alexander, Michael Chiklis, Geena Davis, Faye Dunaway, Stewart Lane, Julianne Moore, Brad Oscar, Wynn Thomas, and Alfre Woodard.
The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.
PRESS RELEASE AT A GLANCE
Boston University School of Music Opera Institute and School of Theatre present Postcard from Morocco
Thursday, February 22, 7:30pm
Friday, February 23, 7:30pm
Saturday, February 24, 7:30pm
Sunday, February 25, 2:00pm
By Dominick Argento; Libretto by John Donahue; William Lumpkin, conductor; Jim Petosa, stage director
An eclectic group of travelers reveal their true identities through the contents of their luggage.
Boston University Theatre, Mainstage
264 Huntington Avenue, Boston
Members of the BU community receive one free ticket per BU ID at the door on the day of the performance, subject to availability.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.BostonTheatreScene.com, by phone at 617-933-8600, or in person at the Boston University Theatre box office.
All programming is subject to change. Please visit us online at www.bu.edu/cfa for the most current event information.
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