Who knew that Leonard Bernstein would look so good at 100? In celebration of the late Boston-raised composer’s centennial, Boston Lyric Opera is transforming the North End’s DCR Steriti Memorial Rink into a lush and glitzy 1950s-inspired Manhattan nightclub for an operatic presentation of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles, running May 11-20. Forty-minute opera Tahiti follows a couple named Sam and Dinah who is struggling to resurrect their once-happy marriage in the suburban oasis of 1950s America, while Arias is an eight-composition, multi-genre song-cycle about love’s maturation from that first dream of happily-ever-after. Both works are too brief to headline an entire evening, prompting BLO to combine the similar themes into one story arc—a first for a professional American opera company. Arias flows after Tahiti to continue the tale of the couple, brought to life with a cast of five performers, a seven-piece band and a four-hand piano. We hit the ice to find out just what BLO used to convert the home of double axels into a spot fit for a double feature.
837 feet of rented drapes define the space
4,000 square feet of carpet
425 Gold Chiavari chairs for audience members
6 custom chandeliers light the rink, with 144 light bulbs and 1,000 feet of crystal beads
120 SteelDeck platforms create the stage and an elevated seating area
144 lamps sit on cabaret tables and along the perimeter seating
2 electricity generators