Boston University's Opera Institute presents four performances this month of the chamber version of Tobias Picker's Thérèse Raquin. With a libretto by Gene Scheer based on the novel by Émile Zola, Picker's opera is a gritty tale of adulterous love and tragedy set in Paris in the late 1800s. The chamber version ofThérèse Raquin premiered in March of 2006 at the Linbury Studio of the Royal Opera House followed by its US premiere one year later at New York's Dicapo Opera Theatre. The work garnered strong reviews along the way, as Anne Midgette wrote in the New York Times:
[An] appropriate darkness emanates from Mr. Picker's adroit music, of a sinister tonality. The vocal writing is sympathetic, particularly in the effective ensembles, while beneath it the orchestra outlines the unspoken tension in taut layerings of figures, turning the emotional screws to echo the increasingly dissonant plot.
The New York Post added:
Inspired work...A worthwhile contemporary American opera. The music of Thérèse Raquin... has real merit, with its Parisian undertones and its fascinating Benjamin Britten-like interwoven ensembles standing out in a score that reveals intriguingly complex dissonance amid hints of atonality.
Conducted by William Lumpkin and directed by Jim Petosa, the performances take place on February 19, 20, 21 and 22 at the Boston University Theatre.
For more information on Tobias Picker, visit his website at www.tobiaspicker.com or www.schott-music.com.
To purchase tickets to the Boston University Opera Institute production of Thérèse Raquin, visitwww.bostontheatrescene.com.
Thérèse Raquin (2000)
opera in two acts
2 Sopranos, mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone and bass
performed in Boston in the new chamber opera version