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A HANNS EISLER CABARET Comes to Neue Galerie This March

Royal Road Productions has announced the new cabaret show "A Hanns Eisler Cabaret" of "Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book," a stunning collection of rarely performed songs by Austro-German composer Hanns Eisler on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 9 pm at the Cabaret at Café Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue, New York.

Ticket information and reservations are available by calling (212) 628-6200, ext. 485.

In her Café Sabarsky debut, the soprano and actress Karyn Levitt presents songs by Brecht and Eisler. Brecht's dark, scathing poetry sizzles in Hanns Eisler's acidic and inventive musical arrangements. Levitt includes original German lyrics along with English translations by world-renowned Brecht translator Eric Bentley. Levitt will perform the Eisler songs with the Hanns Eisler Trio -- featuring accordionist William Schimmel and guitarist Ira Siegel, led by musical director Eric Ostling.

While many are familiar with Bertolt Brecht's other frequent collaborator, Kurt Weill, Austrian composter Hanns Eisler and his work has been largely unfamiliar to popular audiences in America. Eisler, the first of Arnold Schoenberg's disciples to compose in the twelve-tone method, moved to Berlin in 1925 where he developed a more "popular" musical style, and forged a collaboration with Bertolt Brecht which lasted for the rest of Brecht's life.

Bentley adapted the song texts (poems and theater ballads by Brecht) from their original German into English, unlocking Eisler's starkly beautiful songs for English-speaking audiences.

The new CD, "Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book," and the historic centennial celebration for Eric Bentley (hailed by critic Leonard Lehrmann as "a triumph") which Ms. Levitt produced at New York's Town Hall in December 2015, are the culmination of her journey, under the mentoring of Eric Bentley, into the world and music of Hanns Eisler. Musicians on the CD album include distinguished pianist Eric Ostling, accordionist William Schimmel, and guitarist Larry Saltzman.

Karyn Levitt, who is an Oberlin-trained performer, has appeared at Town Hall, Carnegie Hall and other distinguished venues. Under Eric Bentley's guidance, Levitt and pianist Eric Ostling created an evening of Eisler's songs that has earned rave reviews around the country.


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