Set Design: Christopher Mumaw
Lighting Design: Marnie Cumings
Costume Design: Savannah Baltazar
All photos copyright Alabastro Photography

Britten, The Rape of Lucretia
Vespertine Opera Theater
St. Mark's Cathedral
2014

Vespertine Opera’s fifth production, a riveting Rape of Lucretia, neither shies away from nor creepily eroticizes the violence of the rape of at the center of the story. Under the astute direction of Dan Wallace Miller, José Rubio both vocally and physically portrays the horrible fracture of self that turns Tarquinius into a man who’ll rape: His voice strains when it ought to, and his face gets hard then rubbery. Julia Benzinger’s Lucretia captures the confusion, loathing, and loathing of self—her body juddering between hesitance and urgency—that occurs when a victim decides she is partly to blame and then becomes ashamed and suicidal.