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Yale Opera presents a new production of Benjamin Britten’s 
The Rape of Lucretia April 27 & 28

April 10, 2012

A scene from Yale Opera's 2011 spring production.

The Yale School of Music and Yale Opera present an all-new production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia on Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28 at 8 pm. The performances, which feature the singers of the prestigious Yale Opera program, take place in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street, New Haven).

The creative team features stage director Vera Calabria, who has directed numerous productions for Yale Opera and worldwide, and Douglas Dickson, who will provide musical direction and accompaniment.

William Warfel provides original lighting design, and Paul Lieber is creating the evocative projections. Doris Yarick Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera.

Benjamin Britten, one of the foremost English composers of the twentieth century, composed Lucretia a year after  his first big operatic success, Peter Grimes. Soon after, Britten wrote: “The time has come when England, which has never had a tradition of native opera, but has always depended on a repertory of foreign works, can create its own operas…” Over the course of his career, he went on to write a total of sixteen operas.

Britten was a pacifist, and in The Rape of Lucretia (1946, with a libretto by Ronald Duncan) he explores the consequences of violence. Though Lucretia is a chamber opera, with a cast of just eight singers, one commenter has written that “the pared-down textures produced an intensification of Britten’s operatic vision.”

Tickets to Yale Opera’s production are $10–$15, $5 for students. Click HERE to purchase tickets, or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.


DORIS YARICK CROSS, artistic director

Doris Yarick Cross, soprano, has appeared with most of the major opera companies in the United States, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and New York City Opera, as well as companies in Europe, Australia, and Canada. She spent sixteen years in Germany where she sang leading roles in major opera houses. She has sung with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Quebec, Toronto, San Francisco, and the New York Philharmonic. Well-known as a recitalist, she has appeared in hundreds of concerts across the country. She has served on the faculty of the University of Texas and was head of the voice department at the University of Connecticut prior to coming to the Yale School of Music in 1983.

VERA CALABRIA, stage director

Vera Lúcia Calábria returns to Yale Opera, where she recently directed Le nozze di Figaro, The Bear, La Navarraise, L’Heure Espagnole, Bluebeard’s Castle, and Fall Scenes productions in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Born in Brazil, she began at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich) in 1977, and at San Francisco Opera in 1979 as assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. Productions staged for San Francisco Opera from 1983 to 2001 include Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana / I Pagliacci, La forza del destino, Der fliegende Holländer, and Falstaff. Other credits include Madama Butterfly in Strasbourg and Cologne; Manon in Vienna, Munich, and at the Metropolitan Opera; Parsifal in Barcelona, Falstaff in Chicago, Tannhäuser in Honolulu, and Carmen in Zurich, Cologne, Chicago, and Tel Aviv. Ms. Calabria has served on the faculty of California State University–Los Angeles; teaches commedia dell’arte in workshops at CSULA, UC Santa Barbara, and UCLA; and regularly leads workshops on dramatic coaching in New York and at the Staatsoper Berlin.

DOUGLAS DICKSON, musical direction & accompaniment

Douglas Dickson received his B.A. degree from Princeton University and his M.M.A. from the Yale School of Music. On various occasions the Washington Post has called him an “intelligent, sensitive” pianist with “super technique,” a “skillful pianist,” and has praised him for his “finely integrated oneness” he achieves as an accompanist. Mr. Dickson has performed in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America in venues ranging from Japan’s Expo Hall to the Cincinnati Coliseum. As part of Duodecaphonia, a prize-winning piano duo, he has performed at the Kennedy Center and elsewhere. Mr. Dickson has been music director for productions at Quinnipiac University, the Yale School of Drama, Opera Theater of Connecticut, and Connecticut Experimental Theater. He conducted a concert featuring Yale Opera with the Orchestra Verdi in Milan. Douglas Dickson has taught at Quinnipiac University since 1993 and joined the Yale faculty in 1998. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in an all-Ives concert at Weill Recital Hall. For Naxos, he recorded more than eighty Charles Ives songs.