Forgot your password?
View Photo Credit  
Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
The Rake's Progress
Igor Stravinsky
Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky is widely considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Noted for his stylistic diversity, Stravinsky is known for his revolutionary rhythmic styling and orchestration while paying tribute to masters such as J.S. Bach and Tchaikowsky. Born in Russia and a naturalized citizen of France and the United States, he wrote two operas after emigrating to America.

A complex and dark man, Stravinsky wrote of his childhood in his autobiography, “I never came across anyone who had any real affection for me.” Studying piano and composition from an early age he had his first taste of the orchestra at the age of eight when he saw Tchaikowsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre. Though his father was a bass singer he encouraged the young Igor to study law instead of music, a fate from which he was spared with the timely arrival of Bloody Sunday and his university’s consequent closure. Instead of entering the Petersburg Conservatoire he began twice weekly composition lessons with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He traveled the world to collaborate with many esteemed artists in varied fields, settling in Switzerland, France, and Los Angeles.

Though most commonly recognized for his ballets, Stravinsky possessed a passionate curiosity for all types of music, art, and literature. Successful throughout his career and in equal measures known for his pendulous pride and modesty, Stravinsky wrote in similarly polar genres incorporating Russian folk songs, neoclassicalism, and twelve-tone techniques. He moved to New York City in 1969 where he died at the age of 88. He was buried in Venice.
W.H. Auden
Wystan Hugh Auden, published as W. H. Auden, is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Born in England and naturalized as an American citizen, he is noted for his variety of tone and content and for his characteristic reference of moral and political topics. A poet and writer of prose, essays, reviews, documentary films, plays, and opera, he was both controversial and influential during his life.
Igor Stravinsky (Conductor)
Carl Ebert (Director)
Robert Rounseville (Tom Rakewell)
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Anne Trulove)
Otakar Kraus (Nick Shadow)
Jennie Tourel (Baba the Turk)
Raphaël Arié (Father Trulove)
Hugues Cuénod (Sellem)
Nell Tangeman (Mother Goose)
Emanuel Menkes (Keeper of the Madhouse)
September 11, 1951
Teatro la Fenice, Venice
Act I
Anne Trulove is in the garden of her father's country house with her suitor, Tom Rakewell, admiring the springtime. Sending Anne into the house, her father, Trulove, tells Tom he has arranged an accountant's job for him in the city. Tom declines the offer and the older man leaves. A stranger enters as Tom declares his determination to live by his wits and enjoy life. When he says "I wish I had money," the stranger introduces himself as Nick Shadow, "at your service."

Shadow tells Tom that a forgotten rich uncle has died, leaving the young man a fortune. Anne and Trulove return to hear the news, the latter urging Tom to accompany Shadow to London to settle the estate. As Tom leaves, promising to send for Anne as soon as everything is arranged, Shadow turns to the audience to announce, "the Progress of a Rake begins."

At a brothel in the city, whores entertain a group of "roaring boys," dissolute young playboys; together they toast Venus and Mars. Shadow coaxes Tom to recite for the madam, Mother Goose, the catechism he has taught him: to follow nature rather than doctrine, to seek beauty (which is perishable) and pleasure (which means different things to different people). Tom refuses, however, to define love. Turning back the clocks when he sees Tom restless to escape, Shadow commends him to the pursuit of hedonism with these companions. Tom responds with ruminations of love. When the whores offer to console him, Mother Goose claims him for herself and leads him off.

As evening falls, Anne leaves her father's house, determined to find Tom, since she has heard nothing from him.

Act II
Tom, who is in the morning room of his house in the city, is beginning to tire of city pleasures and no longer dares to think of Anne. When he says "I wish I were happy," Shadow appears, showing a poster for Baba the Turk, a bearded lady whom he urges Tom to marry, because only when one is obligated to neither passion nor reason can one be truly free. Amused by the idea, Tom gets ready to go out.

Anne approaches Tom's house but is hesitant to knock. As darkness falls, she sees servants enter with strangely shaped packages. A conveyance arrives and Tom steps out. Startled to see Anne, he says she must forget him, he cannot go back to her. Baba calls out from the sedan, whereupon Tom admits to the astonished Anne that he is married. Hurried along by Baba's impatient remarks, Anne faces the bitter realities, while Tom repeats that it is too late to turn back. As Tom helps Baba from the sedan, a curious crowd gathers. Anne hurriedly leaves.

In his morning room, Tom sits sulking amid Baba's curios as she chatters about the origin of each. When he refuses to respond to her affection, she complains bitterly. Tom silences her and she remains motionless as Tom falls asleep. Shadow wheels in a strange contraption, and when Tom awakens, saying "Oh I wish it were true," the machine turns out to be his dream - an invention for making stones into bread. Seeing it as a means of redemption for his misdeeds, Tom wonders whether he might again deserve Anne. Shadow points out the device's usefulness in gulling potential investors.

On a spring afternoon, the same scene (including the stationary Baba) is set for an auction. Customers examine the various objects - Tom's business venture has ended in ruin. Amid rumors as to what has become of Tom, Anne enters in search of him. An auctioneer, Sellem, begins to hawk various objects -- including Baba, who resumes her chatter after the crowd bids to purchase her. Indignant at finding her belongings up for sale, she tries to order everyone out. She draws Anne aside, saying the girl should try to save Tom, who still loves her. Anne, hearing Tom and Shadow singing in the street, runs out.

Shadow leads Tom to a graveyard with a freshly dug grave, where he reminds the young man that a year and a day have passed since he promised to serve him - now the servant claims his wage. Tom must end his life by any means he chooses before the stroke of twelve. Suddenly, Shadow offers a reprieve - they will gamble for Tom's soul. When Tom, placing his trust in the Queen of Hearts, calls upon Anne, and her voice is heard, Shadow realizes he has lost. In retaliation, he condemns Tom to insanity. As Shadow disappears and dawn rises, Tom -- gone mad -- imagines himself Adonis, waiting for Venus.

In an insane asylum, Tom declares Venus will visit him, whereupon fellow inmates mock the idea. The Keeper admits Anne. Believing her to be Venus, Tom confesses his sins: "I hunted the shadows, disdaining thy true love." Briefly they imagine timeless love in Elysium. With his head upon her breast, Tom asks her to sing him to sleep. As she does, her voice moves the other inmates. Trulove comes to fetch his daughter, who bids the sleeping Tom farewell. When he wakens to find her gone, he cries out for Venus as the inmates sing "Mourn for Adonis."

The principals gather to tell the moral that each finds in the story. Anne warns that not every man can hope for someone like her to save him; Baba warns that all men are mad; Tom warns against self-delusion, to Trulove's agreement; Shadow mourns his role as man's alter ego; and all concur that the devil finds work for idle hands.

-courtesy of Opera News
Tom Rakewell (t)
Ann Trulove (s)
Nick Shadow (b-bar)
Baba the Turk (mz)
Trulove (b)
Mother Goose (mz)
Sellem (t)
Keeper of the Madhouse (b)
Whores and Roaring Boys, Servants, Citizens, Madmen
Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Thursday, June 11, 2015 - Portland Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, May 09, 2015 - Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Friday, May 01, 2015 - Metropolitan Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Thursday, November 19, 2009 - Curtis Institute of Music Opera Theatre
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Thursday, November 12, 2009 - Pacific Opera Victoria
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Friday, November 23, 2007 - San Francisco Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, June 24, 2006 - Des Moines Metro Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Thursday, March 09, 2006 - Opera Australia
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Monday, April 19, 2004 - Curtis Institute of Music Opera Theatre
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Thursday, April 03, 2003 - Metropolitan Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, March 17, 2001 - Lyric Opera of Kansas City
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, November 18, 2000 - Vancouver New Music
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, June 10, 2000 - San Francisco Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, March 11, 2000 - Edmonton Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Friday, February 25, 2000 - PITTSBURGH OPERA CENTER
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Friday, November 21, 1997 - Indianapolis Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Thursday, November 20, 1997 - Metropolitan Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, April 12, 1997 - Minnesota Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Monday, March 03, 1997 - Opera Philadelphia
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, July 13, 1996 - Santa Fe Opera
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Saturday, May 04, 1996 - Royal Opera Canada
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Friday, November 17, 1995 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Sunday, October 02, 1994 - Lyric Opera of Chicago
The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky)
Friday, April 30, 1993 - Opéra de Montréal

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One

Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
  • LaGuardia - Take the M60 Bus to the Hoyt Ave/31st Street. Get on the or Train and take that to 42nd/Times Square Station. Follow the Times Square Station directions below.
  • Newark - Take the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station ($15 - approx. 45 min). See the Penn Station Directions below.

From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
MTA Web site.