Tectonic Theater Project to Bring CARMEN: A NEW AFRO-CUBAN MUSICAL to The Guggenheim, 6/28

Tectonic Theater Project to Bring CARMEN: A NEW AFRO-CUBAN MUSICAL to The Guggenheim, 6/28

Tectonic Theater Project to present excerpts of Carmen: A new Afro-Cuban musical in development at The Guggenheim's 'Works & Process' series Saturday, June 28th 7:30pm. Directed by Moisés Kaufman, Music Adaptation by Arturo O'Farrill, and Music Direction and Vocal Arrangements by Andrea Grody.

Carmen: This classic Bizets opera has been re-imagined by Artistic Director Moisés Kaufman in conjunction with Afro-Cuban jazz legend Arturo O'Farrill. While the original opera takes place in Seville, Spain during the mid 19th century, Kaufman (who is writing book and lyrics) is setting the story in Cuba in 1958, right before the breakout of the revolution - at the height of oppression of the Batista regime.

Mr. Kaufman has partnered with one of the most prominent Afro-Cuban musicians & composers in the U.S., Arturo O'Farrill, and they're adapting Bizet's music to an Afro-Cuban jazz score. This contemporary adaptation has expanded the opera's musical vocabulary and palate, using a combination of original melodies and new Afro-Cuban Jazz materials. The iconic arias and duets are morphed into several different Afro Latin forms. The production will make use of both Bizet's magnificent melodies and O'Farrill's expertise to transpose the action of the story from Seville 1810 to Cuba 1958.

Caesar Samayoa
Christina Sajous
Arielle Jacobs
Shea Gomez
JJ Caruncho
Bello Pizzimenti

Zack O'Farrill- Drums
Gabriel Lugo- Congas
Walter Stinson- Bass
Yi-Hsuan "Sobina" Chi- Piano
Dave Moreno- Guitar
Peter Brianin- Saxophone

Excerpts of the piece to be performed at The Guggenheim's 'Works & Process' series Saturday, June 28th at 7:30pm. To purchase tickets: http://guggenheim.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=3515.

Moisés Kaufman is a Tony and Emmy-nominated director and playwright. He directed the Broadway revival of The Heiress, and wrote and directed 33 Variations on Broadway, starring Jane Fonda, which received 5 Tony nominations (including one for Ms. Fonda). He also directed Rajiv Joseph's Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (with Robin Williams) on Broadway in Spring 2011. Previous to that, Mr. Kaufman directed the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife, earning him an Obie award for his direction, as well as Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel nominations. His plays Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Laramie Project have been among the most performed plays in America over the last decade.

Other credits include: The Tallest Tree in the Forest (Arena Stage),The Nightingale (La Jolla Playhouse), A Common Pursuit (Roundabout), Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo (Mark Taper Forum); Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Public Theater); This Is How It Goes (Donmar Warehouse); One?Arm by Tennessee Williams (New Group and Steppenwolf Theater Company); Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theater); and Lady Windermere's Fan (Williamstown Theater Festival). Mr. Kaufman also co-wrote and directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, which was the opening night selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and won the National Board of Review Award, the Humanities Prize and a Special Mention for Best First Film at the Berlin Film Festival. The film also earned Mr. Kaufman two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is also a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting.

Arturo O'Farrill is a pianist, composer, educator, and the founder and Artistic Director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. In 2002, Mr. O'Farrill created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) for Jazz at Lincoln Center due in part to a large and very demanding body of substantial music in the genre of Latin and Afro Cuban Jazz. His debut album with the Orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a Grammy Award nomination in 2006 and the Orchestra's second album, Song for Chico, earned a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009. In February 2011, Mr. O'Farrill and the ALJO released their third and newest album, 40 Acres and a Burro, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. He is the winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award for 2003.

In 1995 Mr. O'Farrill agreed to direct the band that preserved much of his father's music, the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, which recently concluded a 15-year residency at Birdland, New York City's famed nightclub. In December 2010 Mr. O'Farrill traveled with the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father's musicians to his homeland for headlining performances at the 26th edition of the Havana International Jazz Plaza Festival. In addition, Mr. O'Farrill has performed throughout the world both as a solo artist and with his smaller groups.

A recognized composer, Mr. O'Farrill has received commissions from Meet the Composer, The Big Apple Circus, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, Symphony Space, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. He has also composed music for films including Hollywoodland and Salud.

Tectonic Theater Project (TTP), founded in 1991 by Artistic Director Moisés Kaufman, is an award-winning theater company dedicated to developing innovative works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering an artistic dialogue with our audiences on the social, political and human issues that affect us all. Tectonic Theater Project is best known for creating plays, which have sparked national discourse and inspired artists and audiences worldwide. They include: Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, I Am My Own Wife, Tennessee Williams' unproduced screenplay, One Arm, and 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda. Moisés Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project have developed a wholly unique methodology for creating theater, Moment Work. Participants in Moment Work Trainings actively engage with the elements of the stage - exploring lights, sound, costumes, movement, text, architecture and others elements - to discover their full theatrical potential and the poetry inherent in each element. Training and workshop information is available at www.tectonictheaterproject.org; facebook.com/tectonictheater; twitter.com/tectonictheater.

Photo Credit: Ayano Hisa

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