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.
About Eve Wolf
Eve Wolf (Playwright/Pianist) founded Ensemble for the Romantic Century in 2001 with the mission of creating an innovative and dramatic concert format in which the emotions revealed in memoirs, letters, diaries, and literature are dramatically interwoven with music, thus bringing to life the sensations and passions of a bygone era. For the past thirteen seasons, Ms. Wolf has written scripts for more than 25 of ERC's theatrical concerts and has performed in most of the ensemble's 40+ original productions. Some highlights include Wolf's scripts for Van Gogh's Ear at the Festival de Musique de Chambre de Montréal; Fanny Mendelssohn: Out of her Brother's Shadow commissioned by the Jewish Museum of New York; and The Dreyfus Affair, Peggy Guggenheim Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, and Frankenstein: Every Woman's Nightmare (2013). In 2009 she performed before a sold-out audience at the Sale Apollinee of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in the Italian production of her script, Toscanini: Nel mio cuore troppo di assoluto. She also wrote the scripts of Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart (2013) and Jekyll & Hyde (2013), in which she was a featured soloist. Praised for her compelling performances, Wolf has appeared in Europe and the United States as a chamber musician and soloist. She received a BA in Art History from Columbia University and an MA in Piano Performance from New York University. She teaches at The Curtis Institute of Music and Columbia University-Teachers College and is a professional mentor at The Juilliard School.
About Donald T. Sanders
Donald T. Sanders (Director) has been Director of Theatrical Production for ERC since 2005. He directed Tchaikovsky: None But the Lonely Heart at both Shakespeare & Co last Summer and BAM Fisher this past Spring. In 2011 he directed the ERC productions of Seduction, Smoke and Music at the Tuscan Sun Festival starring Jeremy Irons and Sinéad Cusack and its reprise at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole in 2012. Other notable ERC productions include: Fanny Mendelssohn: Out of Her Brother's Shadow at New York's Jewish Museum; Toscanini: Nel Mio Cuore Troppo di Assoluto at Venice's Teatro La Fenice Sale Apolline; and Van Gogh's Ear at New York's Florence Gould Hall and the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal. He has directed productions at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater (The American Pig: an Anti-Imperialist Vaudeville, Naked Lunch, 33 Scenes on the Possibility of Human Happiness, Thomas Cole, A Waking Dream, Edith Wharton's Old New York) as well as off-Broadway plays of Arnold Weinstein, Eric Bentley, Kenneth Koch and the music works of William Russo. He is a founder of New York Art Theatre Institute (NYATI). He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Bristol, England and the Yale School of Drama. Since 1993 he has been Executive Artistic Director of The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) where he presents such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vanessa Redgrave, England's Out of Joint, Complicite and Shakespeare's Globe Theater, and France's Comédie Française. In 2002, Sanders was made a Chevalier dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France.
About Kire Tosevski
Kire Tosevski (Beethoven) is originally from Sydney, Australia, where he studied traditional Stanislavsky and Michael Chekhov acting techniques, before attending the National Institute of Dramatic Art. He moved to New York City in 2009 and trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, going on to graduate from the Evening Conservatory program. Kire is currently performing on stage at the Arc Light Theater in Manhattan's Upper West Side, playing the role of Eilert Løvborg in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (Treasure House Theatre). The upcoming Beethoven Love Elegies represents his third time collaborating with ERC. He is also a proud member of Theatre East, a NYC-based company that is busy planning productions for it's fifth season. Select NYC theatre credits: When Greenland Melted...The Robot Rose (Nominated for Best Actor & Best Director, Strawberry One-Act Festival 2013), Dracula: Forever Is A Long Time To Live (ERC), The Jungle Book (Theatre East), Anna Akhmatova: The Heart Is Not Made Of Stone (ERC), The Ventriloquist Circle (Sister Sylvester), That Championship Season; Escape From Happiness; Some Girls; Clytemnestra (Stella Adler Studio of Acting). Select Sydney theatre acting credits: Blood Wedding (Genesian Theatre), Twelfth Night (Peninsula Theatre Company) and Cabaret (The Regals Musical Society). Kire is also a freelance theatre director, with credits including the feature-length plays Eastern Standard (2014), La Ronde (2013), Jesus Hopped The A-Train (2013) and Creditors (2011).
Beethoven Love Elegies
Premiered: 2011 in New York City, NY
Writer: Eve Wolf
Director: Donald T. Sanders
Set & Costumer Designer: Vanessa James
Lighting Designer: Beverly Emmons
Performers: Kire Tosevski (Beethoven), Deborah Grausm (Josephine von Deym), Colin Gold (Wegeler, Court Banker Braun), Doria Bramante (Frau von Bernhard, Giulieta Guicciardi), Johnny Segalla (Carl Cazerny, Florestan),
Rachel Lee Priday (violin), Sebastian Bäverstam (cello), Eve Wolf (piano), and Chad Sloane (baritone)
For more information, please visit: http://www.romanticcentury.org