Canadian pride: Boston's Svadba looks like a must-watch

Canadian pride: Boston's Svadba looks like a must-watch

Jenna Simeonov

Now out on is Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Svadba, the a cappella opera for six women by Serbian-Canadian composer Ana Sokolović - and it’s a must-see.

The trailer for this digital production is out now, and it looks like a beautiful take on this piece:

Svadba is full of mystery - mostly in its mix of languages, both real and otherwise - but it’s really a simple story under it all: a woman is about to be married, and she is surrounded by other women who help her prepare. They celebrate her, mourn the loss of her unmarried self, advise her of what’s to come, and send her off into the world. It’s wistful and real, and feels ancient and contemporary all at once.

I have a special spot in my heart for this 2011 opera, often billed as Svadba-Wedding. I saw it in what I believe was it’s earliest stages, in rehearsals for the first performance with Queen of Puddings Theatre in Toronto. My teacher at the time, John Hess, was music director, and he invited me to sit in on a rehearsal for something he told me would be “wild”.

I remember John gave me a score to read while I watched, baffled, at how these six women managed to learn, let alone perform with apparent ease, Sokolović’s detail-infused music. And then I stopped marvelling at the music, and turned to the amazing show of women caring for other women.

In just over a decade, Svadba seems to be one of Canada’s most widely-circulated operas. It certainly travels well; any opera that doesn’t need an orchestra and has room for six women onstage at once is a winner for me.

So, I’m thrilled to see Svadba still making the rounds, and apparently continuing to inspired directors and singers to tell this story a thousand different ways. BLO’s production is co-produced with Opera Philadelphia, which just bodes well in general.

So, get intrigued with BLO’s trailer, and subscribe to for the good stuff. (Hint: there’s other good stuff in there, definitely worth a look.)

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