The Rape of Lucretia - NYC

New York, NY

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The Rape of Lucretia was inspired by a French play by André Obey, and based on Shakespeare's epic poem of the same name.  Composed in 1946, it has since been widely recognized as one of his most controversial and intriguing operas — partially due to its stark and seemingly simple presentation and its edgy libretto by Ronald Duncan.  In a collection of brief scenes with anachronistic commentary from a two-voiced chorus, the opera depicts the rape of the wife of a Roman soldier (Lucretia) by the Etruscan Prince of Rome (Tarquinius), in addition to the motivations and effects of his impulses.  Her subsequent suicide spurs the Romans to revolt and to overthrow the Etruscan rulership. Although the opera takes place five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the solo tenor (Male Chorus) and soprano (Female Chorus) view the story, and relay it to the audience through a decidedly Christian perspective.


Erika Mitchell, mezzo soprano (Lucretia)

Colin Levin, baritone (Prince Tarquinius)

Zachary Ballard and Samuel Bowen, baritones (Junious)

Gyasi Barber, baritone (Collatinus)

Emily Thorner and Katelyn Parker Bray, sopranos (Lucia)

Alexandra Alene Dietrich and Stephanie Benkert, mezzo-sopranos (Bianca)

Aliana De La Guardia, soprano (Female Chorus)

Joshua Collier, tenor (Male Chorus)