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(Freelance photo by Martha Benedict)<br />
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Photo from open dress rehearsal of Pacific Opera Project's production of The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky on September 15, 2016 in Thorne Hall.<br />
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On September 17 and 18, the Music Department will sponsor Pacific Opera Project (“POP”) for a full production of one of the most-performed English-language operas ever, The Rake’s Progress,  which was written by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky here in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. The opera was premiered in Venice in 1951. The Rake’s Progress is the retelling of a common story throughout literature, the Faustian tale of a young man who is tricked by the devil into giving up all the good things he has in life to pursue his wildest dreams. Written by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman after a series of etchings entitled A Rake's Progress (1735) by William Hogarth, the story is originally set in 18th Century England. <br />
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POP’s production engages Oxy's Core Curriculum theme for the 2016-2017 academic year, "Re-envisioning Metropolis:  Los Angeles and the Urban Arts." As Stravinsky was writing this opera in North Hollywood and at a time that Los Angeles was ripping up its red cars and expanding through the freeway, the meditation on the perils of urban "progress" that is The Rake's Progress resonate to this day. In addition to the remarkable cast listed below, The Occidental College Glee Club will serve as the chorus for the production, while production students in Oxy's Theater Department will assist behind the scenes.<br />
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(Freelance photo by Martha Benedict)