The Nose: Opera Boston Presents Shostakovich's Surreal Satire
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The last date listed for The Nose was Tuesday March 3, 2009 / 7:30pm.
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Opera Boston presents the New England Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich’s first opera, The Nose, at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. It will be conducted by Opera Boston Music Director Gil Rose, an award-winning interpreter of twentieth and twenty-first century repertory, and directed by the internationally-acclaimed Julia Pevzner in her Opera Boston debut.
Based on the classic short story by Gogol in which a government clerk wakes up one morning to find that his nose has left his face to seek its own way in the world, Shostakovich’s surreal and satirical opera was called an “anarchistic grenade” at its 1930 premiere. It was suppressed by Stalin and was rediscovered in the 1970s, and has been rarely staged in the United States.
Baritone Stephen Salters returns as Kovalyov, the functionary whose nose goes astray. Mr. Salters has appeared in a number of Opera Boston productions: as the title character of Toussaint Before the Spirits, as Hercules in Alceste, and as Bank-Account Bill in Mahagonny.
Tenor Torrance Blaisdell takes on the role of The Nose itself, once it strikes out on its own and refuses to return to Kovalyov’s face, having achieved a higher status in the bureaucracy. Mr. Blaisdell’s previous Opera Boston appearance was as King Ouf in L’étoile in 2006.
Bolshoi Opera bass Vladimir Matorin makes his Boston debut as Ivan Yakolevich, the barber who discovers the missing Nose. Mr. Matorin is the main bass at the Bolshoi, and has been named a “National Artist of Russia,” the highest honor his government can bestow on an artist. He has performed at many of the top houses and festivals in the world; among his previous appearances in the United States are engagements at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and his Metropolitan Opera debut as Pimen in Boris Godunov in 2004.
The Nose will be directed by Tel Aviv-based opera director Julia Pevzner. She is a native of St. Petersburg, the setting of The Nose, and has returned to her hometown to stage Das Rheingold and Die Walküre conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky Theatre. United States credits include Boris Godunov at San Francisco Opera in October 2008, and Eugene Onegin at Virginia Opera. Ms. Pevzner served as Assistant Director to Francesca Zambello at the 2004 Bard Summerscape production of The Nose, the most recent U.S. revival of the work.
Opera Boston is Boston’s most innovative opera company. Founded in 1980, the company has presented more than 70 operas, including 34 regional and two world premieres. In addition to its critically acclaimed, award-winning mainstage productions, Opera Boston offers a range of programs, including an occasional chamber opera festival, a popular informal cabaret series and an extensive educational program in Boston’s schools.
The opera is sung in Russian with projected English titles. Arrive early for a free pre-performance talk one hour before curtain.