French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and Da Camera of Houston Productions present New York Premiere A Proust Sonata

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French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

and Da Camera of Houston Productions



New York Premiere

A Proust Sonata


Conceived and directed by Sarah Rothenberg


Wednesday–Friday, January 10–12 at 7:30pm


FIAF Florence Gould Hall; 55 East 59th Street, NYC



New York, NY, December 11, 2017The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, and Da Camera of Houston Productions present the New York Premiere of A Proust Sonata, Wednesday through Friday, January 10–12 at 7:30pm in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall.

Marcel Proust’s epic literary masterpiece comes to life in this stunning new production created by pianist and director Sarah Rothenberg, recognized internationally for her innovative and illuminating performances. Equal parts concert and theater, A Proust Sonata transforms music, painting, and literature into multimedia performance.


Excerpts from In Search of Lost Time and the memoirs of Proust’s confidante and housekeeper, Céleste Albaret, (both in English translation) are interwoven with sound collage, painting, photographs, and the music that inspired Proust to evoke the author’s themes of memory, childhood, Parisian salons, as well as his final reclusive years when he withdrew from society to complete his magnum opus.


Sarah Rothenberg is joined by a cast that includes Obie Award-winning actor Henry Stram as The Narrator/Marcel, Nancy Hume as Céleste, tenor Nicholas Phan, violinist Boson Mo, and the Daedalus String Quartet in seven musical tableaux. A Proust Sonata is designed by the Tony and Obie Award-winning team of lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, set and costume designer Marina Draghici, projection designer Hannah Wasileski, and sound designer Bart Fasbender.


Proust wrote effusively of music’s unique expressive power to “arouse depths.” A Proust Sonata features works by composers who appear in the many musical references of In Search of Lost Time, as well as influential figures whom Marcel Proust encountered in Belle Époque Paris, including Fauré, Schumann, Debussy, Chopin, Ravel, Beethoven, Léon Delafosse, and Proust’s lover, Reynaldo Hahn.


“The whole evening radiated uncommon care and intelligence.”

The New York Times on Sarah Rothenberg’s Marcel Proust’s Paris



Henry Stram as The Narrator/Marcel

Nancy Hume as Céleste

Tenor: Nicholas Phan

Violin: Boson Mo

String Quartet: Daedalus String Quartet
Piano: Sarah Rothenberg

Creative Team

Lighting Designer: Jennifer Tipton
Set & Costume Designer: Marina Draghici
Projection Designer: Hannah Wasileski
Sound Designer: Bart Fasbender
Scenario and Text Adaption: Sarah Rothenberg



Frederic Chopin

Berceuse, Op. 57


Claude Debussy:

Des pas sur la neige from Preludes, Book I; Harmonies du soir from 5 Songs of Charles Baudelaire


Léon Delafosse



Gabriel Fauré:

Ici-bas; from Sonata No. 1 in A major: I. Molto allegro, II. Andante


Reynaldo Hahn

Rêverie; Mai; Si mes vers avaient des ailes; Antoine Watteau from Portraits de Peintres; Fêtes galantes


Maurice Ravel

Une barque sur l’océan from Miroirs


Robert Schumann

Des Abends from Fantasiestücke Op 12


Ludwig van Beethoven:

From String Quartet in F Major, op. 135: III. Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo


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About Sarah Rothenberg

Sarah Rothenberg, a pianist of “power and introspection” (New York Times), enjoys an unusual career as performer, writer, and creator of interdisciplinary productions that unite music, art and literature as concert-theater. “A prolific and creative thinker” of “altogether stunning” work (The Wall Street Journal), she is recognized internationally for her innovative and illuminating performances. Sarah Rothenberg’s Music and the Literary Imagination series, produced by Da Camera and inspired by the writings of Proust, Mann, Kafka, Anna Akhmatova, and others was presented by Great Performers at Lincoln Center for five consecutive seasons to sold out houses. Moondrunk, a staging of Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire with soprano Lucy Shelton and performance artist John Kelly, inaugurated Lincoln Center’s New Visions series in 1999. Recent projects include her original productions The Blue Rider in Performance at New York’s Miller Theater and In the Garden of Dreams in Houston for Da Camera, and over 80 performances of choreographer/director Martha Clarke’s Cheri at New York’s Off-Broadway Signature Theatre, Kennedy Center, London’s Covent Garden, and Ravenna Festival. Her award-winning recordings include Fanny Mendelssohn’s Das Jahr (US Premiere); Rediscovering the Russian Avant-Garde: Mosolov, Lourié, Roslavetz; Shadows and Fragments: Piano Works of Brahms and Schoenberg; Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen; and Rothko Chapel: Feldman, Satie, and Cage on the ECM label. Her writings appear in Threepenny Review, Conjunctions, Brick, TriQuarterly, The Musical Quarterly and Rackstraw Downes: Onsite Paintings, The Crisis of Criticism, and the Menil Collection’s forthcoming Cy Twombly.  A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, she also studied in Paris with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and received the French Medal of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters in 2000.


About Henry Stram

Henry Stram worked previously with Sarah Rothenberg and Da Camera in St. Petersburg Legacy in 1996 in Houston and at Lincoln Center. His recent work includes: Junk, as Maximilien Cizik (Broadway); The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper (Broadway, Williamstown and Theatre Royal Haymarket, London); Posterity (Atlantic Theater Company); Fly By Night (Playwrights Horizons); Antony and Cleopatra (co-production of Royal Shakespeare Company and Public Theater); The Cradle Will Rock (Encores Off-Center); Charles Ives Take Me Home (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); The Importance Of Being Earnest (Williamstown Theater Festival); Septimus and Clarissa (Ripetime); The Illusion (Signature Theater Company); The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (NYTW); Spring Awakening (First National Tour); and See What I Wanna See (Public Theater). He has appeared on Broadway in Inherit the Wind, The Crucible, and Titanic; in the films Blue Angel, Irrational Man, She’s Lost Control, Angelica, The Grey Zone, Cradle Will Rock, and Illuminata; and on television in Mozart In The Jungle, Smash, The Americans, White Collar, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Conviction, Enterprise, and Kingpin. A graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division, Henry Stram is a recipient of a 1996 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.


About Nancy Hume

Nancy Hume last worked with Henry Stram on a Weill/Lenya evening of songs and letters for the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. She has sung with the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra and performed in a variety of music theater pieces including: Lady in the Dark and Charlotte: Life? or Theatre? (Ted Sperling). On Broadway, Ms. Hume sang the title role in Teddy & Alice, and has acted in a variety of plays off-Broadway and in the regions, including: The Cherry Orchard, The Substance of Fire (Daniel Sullivan), Measure for Measure and Playboy of the Western World (Doug Hughes), The School for Scandal and Othello (Scott Wentworth), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Laszlo Marton, Bob Berlinger), Trojan Women: A Love Story (Tina Landau), and Hamlet (Zoe Caldwell).


About Nicholas Phan

Appearing regularly in the world’s premiere concert halls, music festivals, and opera houses, American tenor Nicholas Phan continues to distinguish himself as one of the most compelling vocalists performing today. Highlights of Mr. Phan’s upcoming 2017/2018 season include his debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo for Britten’s War Requiem with Marin Alsop; and returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philharmonia Baroque, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony for Schubert’s Mass in E-flat with Riccardo Muti, and the Toronto Symphony for performances as the title role in Bernstein’s Candide. He also serves as artistic director of two festivals next season: Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s sixth annual Collaborative Works Festival, and as the first singer to be guest Artistic Director of the Laguna Beach Music Festival. Mr. Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra.


About Boson Mo

Currently the Acting Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony, violinist Boson Mo is an alumnus of the Da Camera Young Artist Program. He was the winner of Third Prize at the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and was named as one of Canada’s “30 under 30 Top Classical Musicians of 2015” by CBC Radio-Canada. The only Canadian candidate at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he was awarded the Prix Joseph-Rouleau at the 2010 Montreal International Violin Competition and is a recipient of Canada’s prestigious Sylva Gelber Foundation Award. He made his Da Camera of Houston début in the world premiere of A Proust Sonata, and Boson’s recent performances include the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, and Music Mountain Chamber Music Festival. Boson has been featured as a Young Artist in Residence of American Public Media’s Performance Today, and has been broadcast both nationally in the US as well as internationally on Radio New Zealand and CBC Radio-Canada.


About Daedalus String Quartet

Praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets,” the Daedalus Quartet has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001. Performances include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Library of Congress. The quartet has received plaudits for its performances of works by  Elliott Carter, George Perle, György Kurtág and György Ligeti. The 2017–18 season includes a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania to present the complete Beethoven String Quartets.


About Jennifer Tipton

Jennifer Tipton is an internationally recognized lighting designer whose distinctive designs have redefined the relationship between lighting and performance. Ms. Tipton has been an important presence throughout her prolific career in dance, drama, and opera productions of all scales, and she is regarded as one of the most versatile designers working today. Her first lighting design for Broadway was in 1969 for Our Town, and her most recent in 2013 for The Testament of Mary. Among her many awards and nominations, she won the 1977 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design for lighting Andrei Serban’s production of The Cherry Orchard and the 1989 Tony Award for lighting Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. She also has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design twice. Choreographers she has worked with include Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jiri Kylian, Dana Reitz, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Dan Wagoner and Shen Wei. Jennifer Tipton has designed lighting for the American Ballet Theatre since A Soldier’s Tale (1971). In 2001, Ms. Tipton was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.”


About Marina Draghici

Marina Draghici has been designing costumes and scenery for theatre, opera, ballet, film, and television throughout the United States and Europe since1988. She is a recipient of a Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical for the Broadway production of Fela! Other awards include the Lucille Lortel Award and the Obie, both for outstanding design, and many nominations (Helen Hayes, Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing Association, Bay Area Critics). Her work has been seen at the Lyon Opera, Bordeaux Opera, London National Theatre, Edinburg Festival, and the National Theatre of Prague, among other venues. Some of her television credits include Black Sails, Minority Report, Blue Bloods, Homeland, and Dexter. Her film credits include Precious, The Gray Zone, Heights, and The Night Listener. Marina Draghici emigrated to the United States in 1985 and has a master’s degree in set and costume design from Yale University.


About Hannah Wasileski

Hannah Wasileski is an Obie award-winning artist and projection designer from Berlin and currently based in Brooklyn. After graduating from the University of Brighton, UK, Wasileski began working as a video and installation artist. Upon moving to New York she was immediately drawn to the performing arts and the interaction of live performance and projection design for the stage. She graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Her design work includes: projections for the opera The Wreckers at Bard SummerScape, directed by Thaddeus Strassberger; the visual score to art songs by composer collective Sleeping Giant for Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival at EMPAC with Theo Bleckmann and Dogs of Desire; interactive hand-drawn projections for The World is Round, a folk-opera adaptation of the Gertrude Stein children’s book performed at BAM (Obie Award; Exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial 2015); projections for Livin’ La Vida Imelda, a one-man show about the life of Imelda Marcos with Ma-Yi Theater Company; architectural projection design with shadow puppetry company Manual Cinema for La Celestina, and Opera Erratica’s site-specific video opera at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


About Bart Fasbender

Based in New York, sound designer Bart Fasbender’s designs and compositions have played across the country and internationally. His work has been heard on Broadway in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and off-Broadway with theater companies such as The Public, Playwrights Horizons, The Atlantic Theater Company, Second Stage, Women’s Project, Primary Stages, Cherry Lane, Lincoln Center, Naked Angels, Classic Stage Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The New Group, Manhattan Theater Club, The Play Company, Ars Nova, and more. Regionally, he has designed for The Old Globe, Seattle Repertory Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theater, Two River Theater, Williamstown Theater Festival, TheaterWorks Hartford, Philadelphia Theater Company, Barrington Stage, Virginia Shakespeare Company, and Berkshire Theater Festival.


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About FIAF

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.


About Da Camera of Houston

Da Camera chamber music and jazz, founded in 1987, presents an annual series of curated concerts that unites a broad range of repertoire and musical styles under a season theme. Under the artistic leadership of pianist Sarah Rothenberg since 1994, Da Camera has gained an international profile for innovative programs and interdisciplinary productions connecting music to literature and the visual arts, reaching beyond Houston to Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Barbican Centre, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre, University Musical Society Ann Arbor, etc. Da Camera has commissioned works by such leading composers as Kaija Saariaho, Charles Wuorinen, Jason Moran, Tobias Picker, Vijay Iyer and is recognized as Houston’s premier jazz presenter. Winners of a unique commendation for Outstanding Programming Concepts from Chamber Music America, as well as multiple ASCAP-CMA Adventurous Programming Awards, the Houston-based subscription series is presented primarily at the Wortham Theater Center and The Menil Collection. Education and Community Initiatives include the nationally recognized Da Camera Young Artist Program and, this season, the free series Beethoven for All.  Recordings on ECM, Naxos, Ondine.



Program Sponsors: Air France and Delta Air Lines, the official airlines of FIAF; Cultural Services  of the French Embassy; Edmond de Rothschild Foundations; Engie; Enoch Foundation; French American Cultural Exchange (FACE); Florence Gould Foundation; Hermès Foundation within framework of the New Settings Program; Howard Gilman Foundation; Institut français; JCDecaux; National Endowment for the Arts; New England Foundation for the Arts; NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; NY State Council on the Arts; Office de Tourisme de Boulogne-Billancourt; Performing Arts Fund NL; and Pommery.
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What: A Proust Sonata
When: Wednesday-Friday, January 10-12 at 7:30pm
Where: FIAF– Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)
Admission: FIAF Member Tickets: $40

Non-Member Tickets: $60

Tickets: 800 982 2787 |
Information: 212 355 6160 |
Transportation: 4, 5, 6, N, R and Q to 59th Street & Lexington Avenue
  F to 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue; E to 53rd Street & 5th Avenue


Bus – M1, M2, M3, M4, Q31 to 59th Street; M5 to 58th Street


Twitter: @FIAFNY

Instagram: @FIAFNY

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