The Rape of Lucretia

The Rape of Lucretia

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The Rape of Lucretia

Benjamin Britten - International Opera Academy

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The students of the International Opera Academy perform Benjamin Britten's chamber opera about sexual violence and abuse of power.

"Now no sea is deep enough to drown my shame," Lucretia voices her despair after her rape by the tyrannical Roman King Sextus Tarquinius. The married Lucretia, known for her faithfulness, refuses to continue living with the trauma of her assault, even if the tyrant is banished and a new regime is installed. Benjamin Britten wrote his stylised chamber opera The Rape of Lucretia during the Second World War, in a period that was marked not only by the horrors of war but also by a dramatic increase in crimes and sexual violence. Director Carlos Wagner takes that historical context as a starting point for a powerful new version of the opera with the young singers of the International Opera Academy. Like the composer, he reads the original ancient story as an allegory about the inability to gain power and to subjugate, and as a case study in the political exploitation of a crime, regardless of the fate of the victim.


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