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.”