Well, here’s another production based on Lizzie Borden – another opera. This is another artistic endeavor that will serve only to perpetuate the myth of this much maligned woman.
I’ve had “Google Alerts” on Lizzie Borden emailed to me for several years, and the only time “The Hatchet” or “The Literary Hatchet” is ever mentioned is when the gal who creates it mentions it in her own blog.
Every time there’s an “Alert” on Lizzie about any of the dozens of people across the country who lecture on her and where they will be speaking, or musicals or plays, or day-of-crime re-enactments at the infamous house, or new skateboard shops named “Lizzie Boarding”…the two publications mentioned above are never cited. Even individual bloggers and online posters to Borden case comments never even mention Parallel Lives let alone The Hatchet. They speak of the Lizzie the myth has created. Thing is, the content of Parallel Lives and The Hatchet are based on facts. They are much better than all the other crap out there.
I tend to think poor Lizzie will continue being the one-dimensional, axe- slashing psychopath for as long as Fall River will continue in its seemingly inescapable downward spiral. Lizzie Borden has become a legend with a false image few care to change. Fall River has become a city where few want to invest for economic development. Lizzie died in 1927; the city began its own demise a few years earlier. Their tattered thread that binds is that neither has ever regained a positive image. Juxtaposing those two facts would make for a more interesting opera. Or lecture. Or play. Or musical. Or book. Or Netflix series.
Just reading who gets solos in the upcoming new opera tells me how little research was done and how Lizzie and the principal characters will be erroneously portrayed. Hey, I’m not knocking artistic license, but there are lines that should be drawn – if not at least acknowledged – between fact and fiction, rumor and reality.
Alas, I suspect we are in for the usual regurgitation of misinformation.