Franklin Stage Company Opens Season With Euripidean Song Cycle
Franklin Stage Company presents their inventive season opener, Bitter Banquet, composed and performed by Annie Lewandowski. Weaving compelling visual animation with lush music, Bitter Banquet, an original staged song cycle, explores iconic moments from the ancient tragedies of Euripides. Although written millennia ago, the themes in these unflinching examinations of human suffering continue to resonate, and the intense emotional lives of the poet's characters are richly brought to life. Directed by Samuel Buggeln, the hour-long piece also features percussionist Sarah Hennies and the immersive animated projections of Benjy Brooke.
As Bitter Banquet is as visually stunning as it is aurally engaging, it is presented July 6th, 7th, and 8th to coincide with the annual Stagecoach Run Art Festival, which takes place in and around Treadwell, NY, showcasing the work of more than 60 visual artists.
Co-artistic directors Patricia Buckley and Leslie Noble were introduced to Ms. Lewandowski's work through Samuel Buggeln, director of the Cherry Arts Space in Ithaca, NY. "When we first encountered Bitter Banquet," said Buckley, "we were struck by its bold, hypnotic beauty."
"All the elements-voice, movement, music, projections-are so seamlessly integrated," added Noble, "the effect is a stunning hybrid of ancient ritual and modern music video. Opera and music lovers will not want to miss this."
Annie Lewandowski is a composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist whose work has situated her between the worlds of improvisation and independent rock music. Music blog Tome To The Weather Machine described her voice as "a thing of great beauty and terror."
As an improviser on the piano and accordion, she has recorded with Fred Frith, the London Improvisers Orchestra, Caroline Kraabel, Tim Feeney, CAGE, and Doublends Vert. As a singer, guitarist, and keyboardist, Lewandowski has recorded with rock bands Emma Zunz, Xiu Xiu, The Curtains, and Former Ghosts. Her band Powerdove has released eight recordings. Lewandowski has performed at festivals and venues across the United States and Europe. She is a 2014 Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Music at Cornell University.
Bitter Banquetis made possible by the O'Connor Foundation and the NY State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Showtimes are Friday & Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 5:00 pm. Admission is free. Donations gratefully accepted. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. To reserve and for more information: www.franklinstagecompany.org or 607-829-3700.