The Ensemble for the Romantic Century Presents BEETHOVEN LOVE ELEGIES, 7/16-8/3
The Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC) returns to Lenox, Massachusetts, for the second consecutive summer, with 12 performances of the fully staged theatrical concert, Beethoven Love Elegies. With a script drawn from Beethoven's letters and diaries and accounts by his contemporaries, interwoven with performances of some of his greatest music, this poignant, humorous, and emotionally intense production dramatizes Beethoven's young years in Vienna and his search for the perfect wife. Actor Kire Tosevski as Beethoven heads an outstanding company of five esteemed actors and four musicians (violinist Rachel Lee Priday, cellist Sebastian Bäverstam, pianist Eve Wolf, and baritone Chad Sloane).
"This script is very dear to my heart," says Eve Wolf, founder and executive artistic director of ERC and writer/pianist of Beethoven Love Elegies. "It is so moving to witness Beethoven at this younger age when he was boisterous, flirtatious, and sociable, and then to see his gradual descent into isolation when his deafness became more extreme. Beethoven was very spiritual and never lost hope, in spite of this adversity. The music reveals his struggle as well as his unstoppable hope and optimism."
Depicted in a tragicomic script based on Beethoven's letters and contemporaries' recollections of the composer, Beethoven Love Elegies spotlights the composer's attempts at finding an enduring love while growing increasingly deaf. The tragedy of his unfulfilled desire for a meaningful, and lifelong relationship finds its voice in his music. This production features: recorded excerpts from Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, which represents Beethoven's idealized view of marriage; his Variations on Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen (A young girl or a little wife), based on an aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute; the "Moonlight" Sonata, which was dedicated to his piano student, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with whom he fell in love; the "Ghost" Trio, which contains one of the most profoundly moving slow movements in all of Beethoven's works; and rarely-performed Lieder that express his inner emotional drama (these include Neues Liebe, neues Leben, a song about first love; Der Kuss, a humorous portrayal of a man who gets the kiss he wants from a girl who tries to resist him; and An die Hoffnung, Op.94, one of his most moving songs, which expresses the sustaining sweetness of hope amid despair).
Last year's Lenox performance of Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart received rave reviews from [both] critics and audiences alike. "There were lots of Tanglewood and Boston Symphony Orchestra regulars in the audience, and at the end of the performance many a 'bravo' and 'brava' could be heard being shouted at the actors and musicians." (BroadwayWorld.com) According to Donald T. Sanders, Director of Theatrical Production of ERC, and Executive Artistic Director of Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA), "the audiences here in Lenox love theater and classical music and are so appreciative of and intrigued by our productions."
What: Beethoven Love Elegies presented by Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC)
When: Wednesday July 16 - Sunday, August 3
Wednesdays 7/16, 7/23 + 7/30 at 8:30pm
Fridays 7/18, 7/25 + 8/1 at 8:30pm
Saturdays 7/19, 7/26 + 8/2 at 8:30pm
Sundays 7/20, 7/27 + 8/3 at 4:00pm
Where: The Stables Theatre at Edith Wharton's The Mount, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA
About Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC)
Celebrating its 13th season, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC) transforms the classical music concert experience by fusing fully staged dramas with live chamber and Now entering its 14th season, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC) transforms the classical music concert experience by fusing fully staged dramas with live chamber and vocal music.
The combination of original scripts - all drawn from historical materials such as memoirs, letters, diaries and literature - with chamber music, brings the past to life with an immediacy that has transported and captivated audiences worldwide. ERC'S 2014 season kicked off with two New York City performances: Tchaikovsky: None But the Lonely Heart at BAM Fisher; and The Trial of Oscar Wilde at Symphony Space. Performances in 2013 included the premiere of Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart in Lenox, Massachusetts, in partnership with Shakespeare & Company. The production received rave reviews and played to sold-out audiences.
To date, ERC has created more than 40 original theatrical concerts including Seduction, Smoke and Music: The Love Story of Chopin and George Sand, featuring actors Jeremy Irons and Sinéad Cusack and American Ballet Theater dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky; Toscanini: In My Heart too Much of the Absolute coupled with a CUNY seminar featuring author and Toscanini biographer Harvey Sachs; and four writer- centric productions: The Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe); Tolstoy's Last Days; Herself to Her a Music (Emily Dickinson); and Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon. Other productions have centered on subjects such as Marcel Proust, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Dreyfus Affair, Arthur Rubinstein, Erik Satie, Peggy Guggenheim, Anna Akhmatova, Van Gogh, Debussy, Fanny Mendelssohn, Robert and Clara Schumann, Schubert, and Beethoven.
ERC has partnered with and/or performed at The Jewish Museum of New York; the Archivio Fano and the Teatro La Fenice of Venice, Italy; the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal; Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts; the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA); the French Institute-Alliance Française (FIAF); the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University; the Italian Cultural Institute of New York; the City University of New York (CUNY); the Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy; the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley; and New York's Florence Gould Hall and the Eleazar de Carvalho Festival in São Paulo, Brazil.
Since 2007, ERC has been a musicological affiliate of the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at the CUNY Graduate Center, where ERC has also established an annual series of seminars - one for each of the Ensemble's programs. ERC also served as music consultant for the Jewish Museum's 2005 exhibition, "The Power of Conversation," and was in residence in 2004 at Williams College in Massachusetts. Founded in 2001 by pianist Eve Wolf, who also serves as Executive Artistic Director, ERC's artistic collaborators include fellow pianist and Co-Artistic Director Max Barros, Musicologist James Melo, Director of Theatrical Production Donald T. Sanders, Production Designer Vanessa James and Lighting Designer Beverly Emmons. They are complimented by an ongoing roster of musicians and actors who have become major interpreters of the ERC vision.