On Wednesday, July 19 at 8 PM, the world-renowned Emerson String Quartet joins a cast of seven actors, including actors David Strathairn (Temple Grandin, The Bourne Ultimatum) and Jay O. Sanders (The Day After Tomorrow, Green Lantern), for the new theatrical production Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy at the Seiji Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Festival

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On Wednesday, July 19 at 8 PM, the world-renowned Emerson String Quartet joins a cast of seven actors, including actors David Strathairn (Temple GrandinThe Bourne Ultimatum) and Jay  O. Sanders (The Day After TomorrowGreen Lantern), for the new theatrical production Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy at the Seiji Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Festival Co-commissioned by Tanglewood Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Princeton University Concerts, Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy received its world premiere at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival on June 17, 2017.  Written and directed with great imagination and wit by James Glossman, this production is a timely and interesting discourse concerning the suppressive influence on culture in Stalin’s Russia.  A fantasy based on Shostakovich’s 50-year obsession with creating an opera from Anton Chekhov’s short story The Black Monk, this play portraits the composer’s life-long struggle for freedom and sanity against his own demons. Described by James Glossman as a “Valentine to the human spirit”, it incorporates a vivid sarcastic edge to the oppressive Russian society which inspired many of Shostakovich’s compositions.

Inline image 1
(The Black Monk in rehearsal)

Although evidence suggests that Shostakovich had already outlined some basic melodies for the proposed opera “The Black Monk“, he was never able to finish it.  Having recorded the complete Shostakovich String Quartets, Philip Setzer, the violinist of the Emerson Quartet and the co-creator of this new play, is convinced that some of Shostakovich’s music for the opera found its way into his String Quartet No. 14.  With carefully programmed excerpts from the composer’s 14th String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet along with a cast of seven actors retell the story of The Black Monk through the eyes of Shostakovich himself.

“A Valentine to the Power of the Human Spirit”
James Glossman

Black Monk Series Ep. 3: Shostakovich and Stalin

Wednesday, July 19, 
2017 at 8 pm

Seiji Ozawa Hall – Lenox, MACreated by Philip Setzer and James Glossman
Music Direction by Philip Setzer
Written and Directed by James Glossman

Co-commissioned by:
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival
Princeton University Concerts
Tanglewood Music Festival

Shostakovich – David Strathairn
Stalin –  Jay O. Sanders
Middle Woman – Evelyn McGee Colbert
Youger Woman – Ali Breneman
Younger Man – Alex Glossman
Older Man – Paul Murphy
Older Woman – Linda Setzer

Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, violin
Philip Setzer, violin
Lawrence Dutton, viola
Paul Watkins, cello

Tickets: $34, $46, $56 — Click here for more information

Emerson String Quartet website | bio

Tanglewood Music Festival website

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