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Aleba & Co. | 134 henry street | New York, NY | 10002 | 212-206-1450 | aleba@alebaco.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2014
Tickets: 212/247-7800; www.carnegiehall.org

Info: music.yale.edu/concerts/newyork
PRESS CONTACTS
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450
aleba@alebaco.com
Dana Astmann, 203/436-1556
dana.astmann@yale.edu
“Many magnificent evenings of inventive programming.”
— The New York Times

Robert Blocker, Dean • Yale School of Music
David Shifrin, Artistic Director • Yale in New York


presents an unprecedented collaboration between the 
YALE SCHOOL OF MUSIC and 
YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA:

A fully-staged new production and translation of

THE SOLDIER'S TALE

Sunday, April 6, 2014, 7:30 pm


Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall

Music by IGOR STRAVINSKY

Text by C.F. RAMUZ

New English Translation and Stage Direction by LIZ DIAMOND

Music Direction by DAVID SHIFRIN


Scenic Design — MICHAEL YEARGAN

Costume Design — ILONA SOMOGYI

Choreography — EMILY COATES

Lighting Design — SOLOMON WEISBARD

Tony Award winner & Yale alumnus MICHAEL CERVERIS leads a company of Yale School of Drama actors and Yale School of Music musicians

This event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I
 
TICKETS: $30-$45 
www.carnegiehall.org; 212/247-7800
PREVIEW PERFORMANCE IN NEW HAVEN, CT
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm 
Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, Yale University, 470 College Street
Tickets start at $25, students $15
 music.yale.edu; 203/432-4158
Photo by Irving Penn
"David Shifrin and I envision this production as a music/dance chamber theatre piece, in which the playfully rhyming poetry of the libretto, and movement and dance (from ballet to hip hop) will collide and combine, much as the lyrical and ironic modes of the music do." — Liz Diamond 
On Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Yale School of Music concludes the 2013-14 season of YALE IN NEW YORK with a fully staged original production and new translation of Igor Stravinsky's darkly comic THE SOLDIER'S TALE (L'histoire du Soldat) in collaboration with Yale School of Drama.

A preview performance takes place at Yale's Morse Recital Hall in New Haven on Tuesday, April 1 at 8:00 pm.

This production marks one of the largest collaborations between the Yale School of Music and Yale School of Drama. It brings together School of Music faculty and student musicians with the School of Drama faculty, student, and alumni designers, actors, and technicians.

Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale (L'histoire du Soldat) was written in response to the events of World War I, and premiered in 1918. Marking one hundred years since the outbreak of the war, the Schools of Music and Drama bring a fresh perspective to the work with a lively new translation by Liz DiamondOBIE Award winning Resident Director at Yale Repertory Theatre and Chair of the Directing Department at Yale School of Drama. Diamond will also stage the production.

Tony Award winning actor Michael Cerveris, an alumnus of Yale College, joins The Soldier's Tale in the lead role of The Reader. Three School of Drama students perform the remaining three roles: Tom Pecinka as The Soldier; James Cusati-Moyer as The Devil; and Mariko Parker as The Princess. 

The production boasts an unmatched creative team, with scenic design by two-time Tony Award winner 
Michael Yeargan, Resident Set Designer at Yale Repertory Theatre and Co-Chair of the Design Department at Yale School of Drama. In addition, lighting design is by Solomon Weisbard, a recent graduate of the School of Drama whose work in theatre and dance has been seen in New York and around the country; costumes are by Ilona Somogyi, Costume Design Advisor at Yale Rep and a member of the School of Drama faculty; and choreography is by Emily Coates, a lecturer in dance at Yale College and former dancer with New York City Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, and Twyla Tharp.

Overseeing the music direction is YSM Professor in the Practice of Clarinet and Chamber Music David Shifrin. Shifrin (on clarinet) and fellow faculty member Ani Kavafian (on violin) will perform alongside five students on double bass, bassoon, cornet, trombone, and percussion. The relationship between student and faculty in small chamber groups is one of the hallmarks of the Yale School of Music. 

Envisioned by composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) as an inexpensive, portable production like those that played in the provincial fairs of his childhood, The Soldier's Tale tells the bittersweet story of a common soldier's thwarted homecoming at the hands of The Devil. Written in collaboration with Swiss librettist C.F. Ramuz, it has an eclectic score that ranges from modernist to jazzy, classical to folk. It was created during one of the most trying periods of Stravinsky's lifetime, as he was struggling financially and distressed by the strife occurring in his homeland. The narrative mirrors Stravinsky's own inability to return home (due to border restrictions after the Revolution) despite his successes abroad. 

DIAMOND'S TRANSLATION
"There is no better way to get inside a work than to write its translation."
— Liz Diamond
In retranslating this "deceptively charming, bitter moral fable," Liz Diamond has stressed the importance of â€œwords and music working absolutely together. It has been tricky and fun to make the text feel natural and conform to the rhythms of Stravinsky.” Diamond worked directly from Ramuz's original French text, finding many contextual nuances that had been overlooked in previous productions. 

Stravinsky famously stated: "
I have always had a horror of listening to music with my eyes shut, with nothing for them to do. The sight of the gestures and movements of the various parts of the body producing the music is fundamentally necessary if it is to be grasped in all its fullness." Diamond's production pays particular attention to the work's structure as a visual chamber piece. The musicians appear onstage alongside the actors and without a conductor, emphasizing the collaboration between musical and theatrical performance. 


MUSICAL REVOLUTION
At the beginning of World War I, Stravinsky had just completed three ballets (The FirebirdPetroushka and The Rite of Spring) that sent shockwaves through the world of music and made him the world’s most famous composer. Though revolutionary, they were still large-scale spectacles that employed the gigantic orchestra that was a product of the late 19th century.
 
The war changed everything and forced a new economy on all the arts. Not only were romantic notions passé, but big orchestras weren’t possible. So The Soldier’s Tale—scored for just seven musicians and four actors—was much more than a simple choice of theme or instrumentation. It had an austerity that was as much forced on Stravinsky as chosen by him. And yet this economy of means is something that remained a vital part of Stravinsky's art for the rest of his life. 

 
THE SOLDIER'S TALE SYNOPSIS
The Soldier's Tale tells the story of a poor soldier heading home on leave, who is accosted by the Devil in disguise and persuaded to trade his cherished fiddle for a book that predicts future financial markets with total accuracy. The Soldier becomes hugely rich, but in relinquishing his violin for this key to sure wealth, he has given up his chance to return home, instead suffering a seemingly permanent exile. Only when he lets the Devil (who cannot resist a gamble) win all his wealth at cards, does the Soldier win back his fiddle, and with it, his hope for happiness, which he soon achieves when his music cures a Princess of a dreadful illness and wins him her love. Years pass in happiness, but still the Soldier longs for his old country, his old home.  And so, once more tempted by the Devil, he succumbs to the fatal temptation – to try to have it all, to be both what he â€œonce was and has become.” As the Soldier at last crosses the border to his longed-for homeland, he loses hold of his young wife’s hand. He beckons her, but she cannot cross over and he cannot cross back.  Her anguished cry rings out as the Soldier sees, with horror, that the Devil has reappeared, his fiddle in hand, to lead him away once again, from all he knows and loves.
 
From Robert Blocker, Dean of the Yale School of Music
and James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama: 
"We are very pleased to foster this new level of collaboration between the Yale School of Music and Yale School of Drama, Yale's two graduate professional schools of the performing arts, allowing the Yale students, faculty, and alumni participating in this project the opportunity to work side-by-side, deepening their knowledge of the intersection of music and theatre. And we are delighted to share their work with audiences both in New Haven and in New York this spring.”

Tickets to The Soldier's Tale at $30–$45 can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street and 7th Ave.), by calling CarnegieCharge at 212/247-7800, or at www.carnegiehall.org.
Student and senior discounts are available.

Program & Players

PROGRAM
Igor Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale
Stage Direction by Liz Diamond

PERFORMERS
Michael Cerveris ('83 BA), The Reader
Tom Pecinka ('15 MFA), The Soldier
James Cusati-Moyer ('15 MFA), The Devil
Mariko Parker ('14 MFA), The Princess

David Shifrin, clarinet*
Ani Kavafian, violin*
Mikio Sasaki ('15 MM), trumpet
Stephen Ivany ('14 MM), trombone
Michael Zuber ('14 MM), bassoon
Georgi Videnov ('15 MM), percussion
Samuel Suggs ('14 MM), bass
 
Michael Yeargan*, Scenic Designer
Ilona Somogyi* ('94 MFA), Costume Designer
Emily Coates* ('06 BA, '11 MM), Choreographer
Solomon Weisbard ('13 MFA), Lighting Designer

* denotes Yale faculty

YALE IN NEW YORK

music.yale.edu/concerts/new-york
 
“A fascinatingly varied series featuring faculty,
students and alumni of the distinguished university.”
— The New York Times

Launched in 2007, Yale in New York is the acclaimed series in which distinguished faculty members—many of them famous soloists—share the limelight with exceptional alumni and students on Carnegie Hall’s stages, capturing the intense collaboration found on every level at the Yale School of Music. Highlights of past seasons include: the classical legacy of Benny Goodman; undiscovered Prokofiev works; the Oral History of American Music project; Penderecki conducting Penderecki; Sleeping Giant; Robert Mealy’s Yale Baroque Ensemble playing experimental 17th century music; a Prokofiev piano mini-marathon with Boris Berman; music for low instruments; Tokyo String Quartet; and Hindemith the Master and Prankster. The series is curated by David Shifrin.

Liz Diamond

LIZ DIAMOND (TRANSLATOR, STAGE DIRECTOR) is a Resident Director at Yale Repertory Theatre and serves as Chair of the Directing department at Yale School of Drama. Productions at Yale Rep include Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Lucinda Coxon’s Happy Now? (also at Primary Stages in New York); Marcus Gardley’s dance of the holy ghosts; Strindberg’s Miss Julie; Sunil Kuruvilla’s Fighting Words and Rice Boy; Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy; Brecht’s St. Joan of the Stockyards;  and the premieres of The America Play and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World by Suzan-Lori Parks. She has directed new plays and classical works at theatres including the American Repertory Theater, The Public Theater, Arena Stage, and Primary Stages, and has won the OBIE and the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Direction. Liz serves on the Board of the Yale Cabaret and is a Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China. Her production of Blaise Cendrar’s epic poem, La Prose du Transsibérien et La Petite Jeanne de France, premiered last Fall at Yale and will be touring in the coming year. She is currently preparing a new production of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

David Shifrin

Winner of the 2000 Avery Fisher Prize, clarinetist DAVID SHIFRIN has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Denver symphonies. He has appeared in recital at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition he has appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestra throughout Europe and Asia.

A three-time Grammy nominee, he has been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest since 1980. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, he served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. A faculty member at Yale since 1987, Shifrin is Professor in the Practice of Clarinet and Chamber Music, and serves as artistic director of the Oneppo Chamber Music Series and the Yale in New York concert series.

Michael Cerveris

MICHAEL CERVERIS (THE READER) has received high praise for his appearance in many critically acclaimed Broadway productions. He received the 2004 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, and received Tony Award nominations for his roles in Evita, LoveMusik, Sweeney Todd, and The Who's Tommy. He has also appeared on Broadway in In The Next Room (Or The Vibrator Play), Hedda Gabler, Cymbeline, and Titanic, and has played the title role of Hedwig in the West End production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Known for his versatility as an actor, Cerveris has also performed in Off-Broadway productions of King Lear, Macbeth, Nikolai and the Others, and Sondheim's Road Show, among others. Most recently, Cerveris performed in the Public Theater's highly applauded production of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home

Cerveris has also appeared in many film and television productions, including a recurring featured role on the FOX series "Fringe." As a singer, he has performed with the NY City Opera and the NY Philharmonic, and at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center. As a solo recording artist, Cerveris has released two albums, Dog Eared and Piety. His country band Loose Cattle recently released their live debut record, North of Houston.
 

Yale in New York: The Press is Impressed 


“The Yale School of Music has established a formidable presence with its Yale in New York series at Carnegie Hall... mainly by presenting inventive programs of mostly new or unusual works.” 
— The New York Times

“Constantly fresh and surprising, with the spontaneity of improvisation. 
It was chamber music at its best.” 
— Chamber Music Magazine   
 
 â€œThe performance was sensational: well prepared, solidly and precisely executed, and rippling with high-energy percussion and brass playing and a fluid interplay of polished strings as well as winds. If you were looking for a demonstration of how completely a conductor can convey an unusual work’s ideas in all their complexity and beauty, and inspire his musicians to play the piece as if it is the most vivid, original music ever written, you could hardly have done better than this.”
— The New York Times
 
“Who can resist it? An evening of repertoire you’ve always wanted to hear but nobody offers? Well, just ask the Yale School of Music, which has been making its Yale in New York season appearances with just that strategy, and its appeal is—despite the city’s ferocious competition—truly irresistible.” 
— Don’t Miss It Blog
 
“Even from the opening few bars, the students not only sounded technically impressive, but also displayed an incredible sensitivity to the style. Indeed, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale sounded more comfortable with certain stylistic elements of baroque music than some of today’s fully professional ensembles.”
— BachTrack

“Some of the most satisfying music-making...heard in the past half-century.
— Oberon’s Grove 
 
For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or aleba@alebaco.com.
PR for musical trailblazers
 

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