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    A ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ opera is coming to Harvard

    JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images/File 2018

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” is coming to Harvard — and we don’t mean Margaret Atwood’s novel or the Emmy Award-winning television show.

    The Boston Lyric Opera will close its 2018-19 season with a presentation of “The Handmaid’s Tale” opera, based on the iconic 1985 novel. The four performances will run from May 5 through May 12, and will be held at Harvard University’s Lavietes Pavilion, a fitting spot considering large portions of Atwood’s book take place in a dystopian version of Cambridge.

    The operatic version of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale” actually predates the Hulu show (which will return for its third season on June 5) by more than a decade, having originally been written by Danish composer Poul Ruders and librettist Paul Bentley in 2000.


    Director Anne Bogart said in a press release that “The Handmaid’s Tale” raises concerns that are “on everyone’s minds right now.”

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    “Of all the projects I’ve ever done, this is the one that least needs an explanation of why we are doing it,” Bogart said in the release. “Every once in a while, a piece of literature, a fiction, or a painting becomes so meaningful to a culture that everyone pays attention, and the culture is changed because of it.”

    Tickets for “The Handmaid’s Tale” range in price from $25-$182 and are now available online at, by phone at 617-542-6772, and by e-mail at

    Kevin Slane can be reached at