New Music Festival: Voir Dire

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Event Dates
Boston Conservatory Theater
31 Hemenway Street, Floor 2
United States

Audience Advisory: Voir Dire addresses sensitive subject matter and is suited for mature audiences only.

The term “voir dire” comes from Old French: “voir” meaning speak, and “dire” meaning “truth.” Later adapted into legal terminology, it means “to speak the truth.” 

With music by Matthew Peterson and libretto by Jason Zencka, Voir Dire is adapted from various court cases witnessed by the librettist during his time as a crime reporter in hidden, small-town America. This chamber opera, directed by Associate Professor David Gately and guest conducted by Viswa Subbaraman, takes place in a courtroom and plays out in a series of colorful and provocative vignettes that give audiences an insider’s look into the dark, uncomfortable, and often bizarre world of legal drama. Drug abuse, fractured families, economic precarity, and sexual violence collide with a justice system unequipped to account for the human element. 

Voir Dire is “startlingly immediate and journalistic, as gripping as a great feature story and made memorable by the depth and texture of the music,” says Heidi Waleson of the Wall Street Journal.

Voir Dire is sung in English with titles presented.

Program Information

Boston Conservatory thanks audience members for viewing this program information online. This paperless program saved 4,200 sheets of paper, 449 gallons of water, and 377 pounds of CO2–equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.