The opera stage is a place of play and possibility, especially when it comes to the rules of gender. Women often portray men—or even depict men pretending to be women—delighting audiences with inversions and transformations that titillate, amuse, and often illuminate greater truths. DR. LAURENCE SENELICK, professor, actor, director, and author of the leading study of stage cross-dressing, delves into the rich tradition of gender-bending on the operatic stage, illustrated through musical examples performed by Boston Lyric Opera artists. With a central focus on the hilarious and poignant Cherubino scene in Mozart’s The Marraige of Figaro, this performance will survey the men and women of the operatic stage from the eighteenth century through the twentieth—in all states of dress.
The evening will include performances of selected scenes from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (opening at Boston Lyric Opera this April), Handel’s Partenope, and Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.