Ensemble for the Romantic Century Postpones Off-Broadway Premiere of AKHMATOVA

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Ensemble for the Romantic Century Postpones Off-Broadway Premiere of AKHMATOVA

Ensemble for the Romantic Century today announced the postponement of the Off-Broadway premiere of its acclaimed production Akhmatova: The Heart Is Not Made of Stone by Eve Wolf. Performances were scheduled to begin April 24th for a limited engagement through May 29th at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Irina Dvorovenko was set to star in the title role opposite Andrew Kober (Beautiful, School of Rock, "Fosse/Verdon") with Qianru Elaine He on violin, Coleman Itzkoff on cello, and Zhenni Li on piano, under the direction of Donald T. Sanders, ERC Director of Theatrical Production. Dance legend Edward Villella was to provide original choreography. Despite an internationally acclaimed career, this would have marked his New York theater debut as a choreographer.

Also cancelled at this time is Music of Resistance, the planned festival of concerts/lectures on themes suggested by Akhmatova's world, illuminating the works of Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Shoshtakovich, and Prokofiev, prior to the Akhmatova engagement, featuring some of the finest musicians, including pianist Gleb Ivanov performing Prokofiev: Sonata No.9 Op.103 in C major, Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninoff: Lullaby Op. 16, No. 1, Rachmaninoff: Etudes-tableaux Op.39, Prokofiev: Sonata No.8 Op.84 in B-flat major; singer Elena Perroni with pianist Avan Yu and cellist Ari Evan performing Stravinsky: Suite Italienne, Prokofiev: Op.27 Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova, Prokofiev: Cello Sonata in C major, op. 119, and Rachmaninoff/Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee; and Ulysses Quartet with special guest Miri Yampolski on piano, performing Shostakovich Quintet in G minor, Op. 57.

"We wish for the safety and good health of all people on the planet during this difficult period, and join the authorities in asking that all people heed scientific and medical advice. Although we are now self-isolating, we know that we are not alone! Art in all its forms continues to be a comfort to the human heart and a reminder of humanity's spiritual core. For now, ERC is turning inward - creating new works for a brighter future - and we will return to the stage as soon as we can safely do so to reconnect with our deeply appreciated audiences," said Eve Wolf, Executive Artistic Director.

"It is a terrible disappointment having to postpone Akhmatova: The Heart Is Not Made of Stone, Eve Wolf's play about the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and her meeting with British philosopher Isaiah Berlin. ERC creates unique music theater productions to delight and engage contemporary audiences. Under these circumstances, it's hard not to think about Anna Akhmatova, herself, about the reality of her life, her work, her ideals, her importance as a poet, and the power and beauty of her story contrasted against the solid tin sound of our era of Trump. Anna (1889-1965) lived in Russia thru nearly 45 horrific years from WW I thru the Russian Revolution to WWII and into the ensuing Cold War. She went from being a stylish figure out of the early 20th century silver age of Art for Art's sake and social idealism, the free love lover of painter Amadeo Modigliani, to enduring the nightmarish disappointment and barbarism of the Soviet era, her voice always attuned to the sensual pleasures of the physical world and the individual's response to it. "Somewhere there's a beautiful world where a boy and girl run to meet each-other at evening's gate". Little did we know that our world would be tilted even more on its axis by forces similarly beyond our control. Akhmatova and its Music of Resistance will be back. We look forward to the theatrical experience of Anna, her poetry and the solid gold sound, the ineffable living music of Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Shostakovich," says Donald T. Sanders, ERC Director of Theatrical Production.

Leningrad, 1945: Soviet censorship tightens, Akhmatova writes. With a strong underground following, the legendary poet Anna Akhmatova finds herself a target of the dictator Stalin's merciless campaign to control Russia's cultural life. As the KGB follows her every move, Akhmatova continues to create, and fights to have her voice heard. After an overnight encounter with British philosopher and literary giant Isaiah Berlin, she finds herself drawn into a relationship that has unforeseen consequences. Now living on the edge of fear, she must choose between her love, the integrity of her work, and the safety of herself and her family. A New York Times Critic's Pick, Akhmatova: The Heart Is Not Made of Stone is a powerful theatrical event weaving together musical selections of Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich, with source material from Anna and Isaiah's lives.

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