Ensemble for the Romantic Century's VAN GOGH'S EAR Opens Tonight
The Ensemble for the Romantic Century has announced that the 2017-18 season, ERC's 17th, will take place at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues) beginning with Van Gogh's Ear. Opening Night is set for tonight, August 17th. This limited Off-Broadway engagement runs through September 10th only.
Donald T. Sanders will direct a cast headed by Carter Hudson along with Renée Tatum, Chad Johnson, and Kevin Spirtas. Scenic and costume design will be by Vanessa James with lighting design by Beverly Emmons, and projection design by David Bengali. Live chamber music will be performed by Henry Wang (violin), Yuval Herz (violin), Chieh-Fan Yiu (viola), Timotheos Petrin (cello), joined by ERC Co-Artistic Director Max Barros (piano) and Renana Gutman (piano).
Carter Hudson is the series lead in the new hit series "Snowfall" on FX. Prior to "Snowfall," Hudson was primarily known as a New York Stage actor and has appeared in several highly-lauded productions on Off-Broadway, most recently as Tristan in the celebrated Off-Broadway production of Lucy Prebble's The Effect directed by David Cromer at the Barrow Street Theatre. Prior New York stage appearances include the revival of Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire at Second Stage opposite John Noble and directed by Trip Cullman; Abyss at The Play Company; Wyoming produced by Lesser America; and The Boogeyman at The New York Fringe Festival. Regional theatre appearances include Keith Bunin's Unbuilt City directed by Sean Mathias at New York Stage and Film; The Chosen and The Whipping Man at Portland Center Stage; Mai Dang Lao and DB at the JAW West Festival; Honus and Me at the Mountain Playhouse; and Empire Comics Presents... at Strangemen & Co. Hudson's additional include television appearances include HBO's "The Night Of" and "Codes of Conduct."
Kevin Spirtas is perhaps most recognized around the world as Dr. Craig Wesley (1996-2003) from NBC's longest running daytime drama "Days of Our Lives," and the cult classic sequels: Friday the 13th - Part VII, Subspecies II & III - and Wes Craven's: The Hills Have Eyes - Part II. In 2016 he received an Emmy nom for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Dominic Delacorte on in a Digital Series: Winterthorne... The Series. For the same role he won Best Lead Actor in an International Series Award (ISA). On Broadway Spirtas has played Mike ("I Can Do That") Costa, in the original run of Michael Bennett's seminal Broadway musical: A Chorus Line. Years later he returned to Broadway as the stand-by for Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz. Spirtas was the sole producer of the NY Shakespeare reading presentation of Don Cummings': A Good Smoke, starring Meryl Streep. His Broadway Producer credits include the critically acclaimed revival of: Finian's Rainbow (2009) Priscilla Queen of the Desert (2012) and this season's, Tony Award winner for Best Musical: Dear Evan Hansen. Spirtas will also be seen Fall 2017 starring in the new digital drama: After Forever -The Series, which he co-wrote and co- produced with his Days alum, Michael Slade... Stay tuned!
Noted for her "commanding and dramatic presence" (Opera News), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum is rapidly gaining critical acclaim on the most prestigious opera stages in the United States. This season's engagements include Flosshilde in Das Rheingold with Tanglewood Music Festival; Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre with San Francisco Opera; Jenny in Threepenny Opera with Boston Lyric Opera; and Flower Maiden in Parsifal at The Metropolitan Opera. Highlights of recent seasons include Flosshilde in Das Rheingold at the National Taichung Theatre and in Götterdämmerung in a return to Houston Grand Opera; Flosshilde and Waltraute in Der Ring des Nibelungen with Washington National Opera; Flosshilde in Götterdämmerung with Teatro Massimo di Palermo; a return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Second Lady in Julie Taymor's production of Die Zauberflo?te led by Ádám Fischer; Olga in Eugene Onegin with Boston Youth Symphony; High Priestess in Aida and Händel's Messiah with Pacific Symphony; Beethoven's Missa solemnis with Pacific Chorale; Mozart's Requiem with Omaha Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with San Diego Symphony; and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Toledo Opera. In future seasons, she will return to National Taichung Theatre.
Chad Johnson has led quite a prolific career as a tenor in a variety of operas across North America. Recently, he has taken on roles including Niklaus Sprink in Silent Night with Michigan Opera Theatre, Fort Worth Opera, and in his début with The Wexford Festival; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Opera Orlando and New Orleans Opera; Tonio in La fille du régiment with Mill City Summer Opera; Gerald in Lakmé with Minnesota Opera and Florida Grand Opera; Lenski in Eugene Onegin with Florida Grand Opera; Peregrino in Vía Láctea with OperaBend; Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles with Virginia Opera and Opera Carolina; Ruggero in La rondine with Fresno Grand Opera; Lysander in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Boston Lyric Opera; Jacquino in Fidelio with Opera Omaha; Emilio in Il sogno di Scipione with Gotham Chamber Opera; and Lance in the rarely performed Gluck opera entitled L'arbre enchanté with Fire Island Opera for their inaugural season. Previous career highlights include Paolino in Il matrimonio segreto at Brooklyn Academy Of Music and Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Tanglewood Music Center under the baton of Maestro James Levine.
Written by ERC Executive Artistic Director Eve Wolf, using Van Gogh's own words, Van Gogh's Ear shows us that the vibrancy of Van Gogh's paintings is only half his story. He frantically worked on several paintings at a time, experimenting with color and form. Time became his enemy as violent fits of madness and terrifying hallucinations consumed his being. Wrestling a fractured psyche with his determination to paint the beautiful, fragile world he saw, Van Gogh revealed his struggle to his brother Theo. ERC's Van Gogh's Ear brings the tormented creativity of Van Gogh to life. "If my work is that of a madman ... I should prefer my insanity to the sanity of others" - Van Gogh.
Next up will be Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, with performances from December 21st to January 7th, with opening night set for December 27th. The third and final show of the season will be Tchaikovsky: None But the Lonely Heart. Performances will begin May 17th for a limited run through June 17th, with opening night scheduled for May 24th.
The Ensemble for the Romantic Century, now in its 17th Season, has set out to achieve the impossible: Time Travel. ERC was founded by pianist Eve Wolf in 2001 with the intention of creating an engaging and innovative approach to chamber music concerts. ERC's theatrical concerts interweave letters, memoirs, diaries, poems, and other literature with chamber and vocal music; the music's historical context is reinforced through its connections with history, politics, philosophy, psychology, and the other arts to create a compelling new performance experience. These unique productions merge dramatic and fully staged scripts with music, recapturing the past with a sense of immediacy that transports, illuminates, and captivates. The scripts, drawn from historical material that includes letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper articles, poetry, and literature create an intricate counterpoint to the musical program. The subject matters span across centuries, from Tolstoy to Toscanini, from Verne to Van Gogh, all brought to life through the fusion of drama and music. By illuminating the interplay between literature, biography and music ERC has transformed the concert experience. The Romantic Century was about imagination and experimentation. Elevating the human condition through art: that is the spirit we hope to summon.
ERC has created over 40 original theatrical concerts at such institutions as BAM (Brooklyn Academy Of Music); Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA; The Jewish Museum of New York; the Archivio Fano of Venice, Italy; the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal; theMassachusetts International Festival of the Arts/MIFA; the French Institute-Alliance Française/FIAF, New York; the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University; the Italian Cultural Institute of New York; and the City University of New York (CUNY). ERC's programs are distinguished by their artistic excellence, breadth of repertoire, and variety of subject matter. In its relatively short history, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century has enriched the music scene with highly innovative productions that are also historically informed, aesthetically exquisite, and emotionally transporting.
The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a Studio Theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and the Signature Café + Bar, open to the public from noon-midnight Tuesdays - Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.
Performances for Van Gogh's Ear will be in at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues) August 10th to September 10th only.
Season subscriptions, from $195 offering tickets for all three shows, are now available for purchase at romanticcentury.org. Individual tickets, which are now on sale as well, are $40 to $140 and can be purchased online at TicketCentral.com; by phone at 212/279-4200; or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12 noon to 8pm daily).
For more information, visit romanticcentury.org.