The Boston Lyric Opera (BLO), once in residence at the Schubert Theatre, has been working out of different spaces while seeking a permanent home. Sure, being itinerant has caused logistical problems, but it also allows the BLO to seek out spaces that lend themselves to imaginative adaptations. In 2016, the BLO set Bizet’s Carmen in 1970s Spain, with a scenic design that featured six Mercedes, full cars, albeit without engines. The team set out to find a huge space with ground access for rehearsals and decided on the Steriti Memorial Rink, a 15,000 square foot hockey rink along Boston’s North End Waterfront.
In May, the BLO returned to the rink to do two short operas by Leonard Bernstein, Trouble In Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles. “We feel that there is something very subversive about bringing mid-century music to a sports venue which recently hosted the World Skating Championships,” says the BLO’s production and tech director, Anna Labykina.
Click through the gallery to learn about the venue and scenic design, and check out Part Two where we explore the lighting and video design!