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THE SECOND SEASON OF BARD SUMMERSCAPE, EXPANDED TO RUN FROM JULY 8 TO AUGUST 22, FEATURES AN EXTRAORDINARY NEW SEASON OF OPERA, MUSIC, THEATER AND FILM

Mark Primoff
845-758-7412
primoff@bard.edu
08-22-2004
http://summerscape.bard.edu

SUMMERSCAPE 2004
FEATURES THE 15TH ANNUAL BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL—"SHOSTAKOVICH AND HIS
WORLD"—EXAMINING
THE RUSSIAN COMPOSER OVER TWO WEEKENDS OF CONCERTS, PANEL DISCUSSIONS, AND
OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS


SHOSTAKOVICH'S RARELY HEARD COMIC OPERA, THE NOSE, GETS A NEW
PRODUCTION DIRECTED BY FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO, WITH STAGE DESIGNS BY RAFAEL
VI„OLY; SHOSTAKOVICH'S
MUSICAL, MOSCOW:
CHERRY TREE TOWERS
, RECEIVES ITS U.S.
PREMIERE; FURTHER SUMMERSCAPE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE A CELEBRATION OF GOGOL,
INCLUDING VALERY FORKIN'S PRODUCTION OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL;
A NEW CHAMBER OPERA BY MEL MARVIN — GUEST
FROM THE FUTURE
; PUPPETS FROM ST. PETERSBURG; FILMS FROM RUSSIA, AND
MORE

BARD COLLEGE'S
CELEBRATED NEW FRANK GEHRY—DESIGNED RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER FOR THE
PERFORMING ARTS IS SUMMERSCAPE'S PRIMARY VENUE




"Bard, under the leadership of Leon Botstein, has ended up
with what may be the best small concert hall in the United States."

The New Yorker


"Already SummerScape looks to be the most important American
festival since Lincoln Center started its summer festival seven years
ago."

Los Angeles Times


"With the addition of the Fisher Center
at Bard É the Hudson River Valley is on its way to becoming one of
the premier cultural destinations in the nation."

— Boston Globe




ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Bard College has
announced the second season of its diverse SummerScape festival,
featuring an astonishing array of opera, music, theater, dance and film,
and the 15th annual Bard Music Festival: "Shostakovich and His World," in a newly expanded season running from July 8
through August 22
. This year's Bard
Music Festival
— focusing on
Russian composer Dmitrii Shostakovich (1906
-1975) — will take place over two concentrated three-day weekends between August
13 and 22
, with ten concerts
ranging from chamber works to full orchestral programs.


SummerScape highlights include Shostakovich's
rarely heard comic opera The Nose (based
on a Gogol story) and his only musical, Moscow: Cherry Tree Towers, a Soviet Rent, following the lives of new residents of a Muscovite paradise — a communal
housing project. Francesca Zambello will
direct both works in her double debut at Bard. SummerScape will place a
second great Russian creative talent under the magnifying glass this year: Nikolai Gogol (1809 - 52), many of whose extraordinary stories are
to be presented in various forms, including performances of his two-act
play, The Inspector General, and
theatrical versions of his stories The Overcoat and Nevsky Prospekt. SummerScape
will also feature a new chamber opera, Guest from the Future, by Mel Marvin; and a Russian film festival featuring films with scores by Shostakovich
and stories by Gogol.
Among
the guest artists will be several companies from St. Petersburg, including
the Alexandriinsky Theatre, and an international roster of soloists, chamber musicians,
directors, and actors. The American Symphony Orchestra, under its music director, Leon Botstein, is in residence.


* * *


SummerScape opens on July 8 with Nikolai Gogol's classic satire, The
Inspector General
, hailed
by Vladimir Nabokov as "the greatest play written in Russian." Directed
by Valery Fokin, Bard's four performances — in the Sosnoff Theater — star
the Russian actor Alexei Devotchenko as a penniless rake confused with
a government official.


The Festival's first performance of the
Shostakovich opera The Nose will be given on July 28. Francesca Zambello — one of opera's most widely acclaimed directors — has recruited singers
she has worked with in Russia and elsewhere in Europe for this thrilling
new adventure. Famed architect Rafael Vi¯oly is the set designer
for the three-act opera, based on a famous short story by Nikolai Gogol
and composed in 1927-28. In this hilarious comic opera, a petty
official awakens one morning to find that his nose has disappeared from
his face and is parading around town in the uniform of a more senior official. The
five performances will be in Russian with English titles in the Fisher
Center's Sosnoff Theater
, which has received accolades from writers worldwide.
A critic for the Los Angeles Times wrote last year, "The
900-seat Sosnoff Theater, in its first outing as an opera house, proved
an acoustic jewel with voices and orchestra alike sounding clear and immediate."


SummerScape's two other music-theater presentations — Shostakovich's
only musical Moscow: Cherry Tree Towers (also
directed by Zambello) and the new chamber opera by Mel Marvin, Guest
from the Future
— will be performed in the Fisher Center's Theater
Two. Guest from the Future is
based on the true story of a love affair in postwar Leningrad between philosopher
Isaiah Berlin and poet Anna Akhmatova. Written by Mel Marvin (music)
and Jonathan Levi (libretto), and directed by David Chambers, it is a follow-up
to the creative team's Don Juan in Prague,
presented at last year's inaugural SummerScape. Guest from the
Future
premieres on July 22,
with seven performances to follow. Moscow: Cherry Tree Towers was named after a notorious
Moscow housing development described in the Soviet promotional material
of its time as offering its inhabitants "paradise." It will premiere on
August 11 with four performances to follow.


"Shostakovich and his World," the Fifteenth
Annual Bard Music Festival
,
opens on Friday, August 13 in
the Fisher Center's Sosnoff Theater, with an 8:00 pm pre-concert talk
by Leon Botstein as a prelude to the first concert of the Festival. The
opening night concert, Dmitrii Shostakovich: The Character and the
Career,
presents chamber and solo pieces by the composer, ranging from early piano
dances and a jazz suite to songs and a late string quartet.


The Bard Music Festival's examination of
Shostakovich, under the combined artistic directorship of Leon Botstein,
Christopher H. Gibbs, and Robert Martin, falls two years before Shostakovich's
centennial, and will cast light on many aspects of the composer's creative
life. Ten concert programs, ranging from solo piano pieces and chamber works
to full orchestral programs, will be presented over the Festival's two
weekends, alongside panels and symposia, all designed to bring vividly
to life the musical world of Dmitrii Shostakovich.


During Bard SummerScape, many of Shostakovich's
film soundtracks will be heard over a six-week period, when the films for
which he composed them will be screened. Also on the program will be filmed
stories by Gogol, Soviet comedies, and special film events with readings
of poetry by Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Aleksandr Blok.


As in 2003, SummerScape will offer many
additional presentations, including late-night cabaret-style performances
in its "Nightscape" series
on four Saturday evenings, and dramatic performances of Nikolai Gogol's
short stories: The Overcoat by
the Bulgarian clown troupe Credo
(in English), Nevsky Prospekt by
St. Petersburg's Potudan Theater (in Russian with English surtitles), and
the Russian AKHE Theater's White Cabin (wordless
physical theater). Opening night of this group, under the heading "Petersburg
Tales — Diary of Gogol," is August 4, with 16 further performances through
August 22.


More program details are given below. In
the near future, Bard College's Fisher Center web site will have more complete
information and updates on SummerScape. The site will also provide
phone numbers, ticket information, and directions for getting to Bard (only
90 minutes north of Manhattan). The SummerScape box office, which begins
selling tickets on May 1, 2004, can be reached at 845-758-7900.
Tickets will also be available on the Fisher Center website, www.bard.edu/fishercenter.


* * *


BARD SUMMERSCAPE BY GENRE


Opera:



  • The Nose, July 28-August 7, Sosnoff Theater


Theater:



  • The Inspector General, July 8-11, Sosnoff Theater

  • Petersburg Tales — Diary of Gogol, August 4 - August
    22, Resnick Drama Studio


Music Theater:



  • Guest from the Future,
    July 22-August 1, LUMA Theater

  • Moscow: Cherry Tree Towers,
    August 11-15, LUMA Theater


Music:



  • The Fifteenth Annual Bard Music Festival, Shostakovich
    and his World
    , August 13-15 and August 20-22. The opening concert on Saturday, August
    13, begins at 8:30 p.m.; successive Friday evening concerts begin at
    8pm. Saturday concerts are at 1:30 and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 1.30 and
    5pm, 10 programs in all, in the Fisher Center's Sosnoff Theater and Bard's
    Olin Hall


Film:



  • Russian Film Festival, 22 screenings, July
    15 - August 21, Film Center

  • Some of the films have soundtracks by Dmitrii
    Shostakovich


Clowns, Marionettes, Russian Engineers and
others,



  • Summerscape's wildly popular Nightscape on Saturday nights at
    10:30 from July 10 - August 21


* * *


BARD SUMMERSCAPE IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER


THE INSPECTOR GENERAL — a play in two acts by Nikolai Gogol

4 performances (July 8-11, Sosnoff Theater)

A presentation of the Alexandriinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg,
directed by Valery Fokin and starring Alexei Devotchenko. In Russian
with English surtitles.


"The best play written in Russian." — Vladimir
Nabokov



Virtually every important director has staged
Gogol's The Inspector General, the classic satire of officialdom and petit bourgeois
obsequiousness, since its 1826 premiere in Moscow. Dostoyevsky said
that everything in Russian literature started with Gogol.


Valery Fokin, the new artistic director
of St. Petersburg's Alexandriinsky, where the famous Meyerhold production
of Revizor (as The Inspector
General
is known in Russian)
premiered, has created an artistically exciting and tremendously entertaining
production. The remarkable actor Alexei Devotchenko stars as the rake who
is mistaken for an Inspector General who has come to visit a provincial
town. The production features a marvelously costumed cast of 30,
including Russia's most famous contemporary chorus, Remake, performing
an original score by Leonid Desyatnikov.


The production is the first of five Presidential
Productions by the Alexandriinsky, St. Petersburg's great old theater,
supported by the Ministry of Culture.



GUEST
FROM THE FUTURE
— a new chamber
opera in two acts by Mel Marvin, with a libretto by Jonathan Levi


8 performances (July 22-August 1, LUMA Theater)

Music direction by David Levi. Stage direction
by David Chambers.

Set design by Darcy Scanlin.



The world premiere of a co-production with
Nine Circles Chamber Theater, Guest From The Future is
an unusual love story set in Leningrad in November of 1945, a few months
after the end of World War II, when British philosopher and diplomat
Isaiah Berlin returned to his native Russia. A chance remark led to an
introduction
to the legendary poet Anna Akhmatova, then 55, who was living in Leningrad's
once splendid Fountain Palace. All that is known for certain is that
the 35-year-old Berlin entered Akhmatova's flat at 3 p.m. one day and
left at 11:00 the following morning. As a result of Akhmatova's night
spent
with a foreign diplomat, Stalin himself denounced her and removed all
her privileges: she didn't publish again until after his death. According
to
Akhmatova, the Cold War started that night — indeed, Winston Churchill
made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech only a few months later. But equally
important, that night inspired some of Akhmatova's most moving love poetry
and reimagined Berlin as the Guest from the Future, a character in her
masterwork, "Poem Without a Hero."


This production brings back to LUMA Theater
the creative team that directed SummerScape 2003's Don Juan in Prague. This
is the first opera by Marvin, composer of five Broadway shows, including Tintypes,
for which he received a Tony¨ nomination.



Dmitrii Shostakovich: THE NOSE — an opera in three
acts with epilogue,
based on the story by Nikolai Gogol.

5 performances (July 28, 30 and August 1, 6, 7 Sosnoff
Theater)

Music direction by Leon Botstein

Stage direction by Francesca Zambello

Set design by Rafael Vi¯oly



A hilarious, rarely-performed opera written
by the very young Shostakovich, The Nose follows the story of a minor civil servant who awakes
one morning to find not only that his nose has fled his face, but that
it is parading around town in the uniform of an official more important
than himself.


Francesca Zambello is arguably the most
important and sought after stage director working in opera today.
Her productions have been seen worldwide: at the Met, Covent Garden, and
in
Paris, Moscow and Sydney. Zambello, who was a Russian Studies major
in college, is casting several Russians for the productionÑsingers
she has worked with in Paris and Moscow.


Rafael Vi¯oly, chosen to design Bard's future
Science Center, continues Bard's tradition of encouraging artist-architects
to focus their flair for the dramatic onto the opera stage.



RUSSIAN
FILM FESTIVAL

22 performances (July 15-August 22, Dance Studio)



The films will be presented in three categories:


1. STORIES BY GOGOL:


The Overcoat (Shinel) directed by Grigoriy Kozintsev & Leonid
Trauberg (1926)

Gogol's most famous short story of a lowly
civil service clerk, whose all-important overcoat, so critical to his
well-being and prestige, is stolen from him. (84 min, b&w, silent)

Thursday,
July 15, 7 pm

Thursday, August 5, 6 pm


Spirit of Evil (Vij) directed by Georgi Kropachyov
(1967)

Gogol's early Ukrainian story of a young priest ordered to preside
over the wake of a witch in a remote villageÑthree
nights alone with a corpse with only his faith to protect him. (78
min, color)

Friday, July 16, 7 pm

Friday, August 6, 5 pm


The Complete Works of Yuri Norstein (1968-1978),
including the unfinished The Overcoat (1978)
Six films by the world's greatest living animator, Yuri Norstein, including
his masterwork-in-progress, Gogol's The Overcoat. The August 7 showing includes a live string orchestra
performance of the U.S. premiere of Russian composer Alexander Bakshi's Dialogue
with The Overcoat.
(88 min,
color)

Saturday, July 17, 7 pm

Saturday, August 7, 5 pm


Happy Days (Schastlivye dni) directed
by Aleksei Balabanov (1992)

For Balabanov, a "great-grandson" of
Gogol, St. Petersburg is a city that lies and deceives - a vast metropolis
that
dwarfs the ordinary individual. His Happy Days has become a
classic Petersburg tale for the post-Communist era. (86 min, b&w)

Sunday,
July 18, 5 pm

Sunday, August 8, 6 pm


2. SCORES BY SHOSTAKOVICH:


New Babylon (Novyj Vavilon) (1929) directed
by Grigoriy Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg

Shostakovich's first film score
was for this early silent Soviet production, based on the events of the "forgotten
revolution" of the Paris Commune of 1871. The story of a young woman
caught up in the struggle against the bourgeois. (120 min, b&w)

Thursday,
July 29, 5 pm

Thursday, August 12, 6 pm


October (Ten Days That Shook the World) directed
by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Alexandrov

To commemorate the tenth anniversary
of the 1917 revolution, Eisenstein re-created the events of that October
in their original setting with an enormous cast. This re-released version — featuring
sound effects and music composed by Dmitrii Shostakovich — was directed
by Grigori Alexandrov in 1967. (99 min, b&w)

Friday, July 30, 5 pm

Friday, August 13, 5 pm


Hamlet (Gamlet) directed
by Grigoriy Kozintsev (1964)

Shostakovich's first great Shakespeare movie
with Boris Pasternak's "modern language" translation of the text
and Kozintsev's somber imagery. Awarded a special jury prize at the
Venice Film festival. (150 min, b&w)

Saturday, July 31, 5 pm

Saturday, August 14, 5 pm


King Lear (Korol Lir) directed
by Grigoriy Kozintsev (1969)

The final Shostakovich film and arguably
the finest on-screen adaptation of Shakespeare. Olivier himself acknowledged
the brilliance of this stunning film, shot in Lithuania, with a moving
performance by Juri Jarvet as Lear. (137 min, b&w)

Sunday, August
1, 7 pm

Sunday, August 15, 7:30 pm


3. COMEDY BY BARNET:


A rare opportunity to see three films by
the extraordinary Boris Barnet, largely unknown in the West but long hailed
as the father of Soviet comedy and an inspiration to greats such as Tarkovsky

and Bertolucci.


The House on Trubnaya Square (Dom
na Trubnoj)
directed by Boris Barnet (1928)

Live piano
accompaniment by Donald Sosin

This pointed comedy about the tensions of
class in an emerging urban landscape follows the story of Parasha,
a domestic servant girl, who finds romance and political consciousness
upon moving
to Moscow. Barnet had six scriptwriters collaborate to create this
most entertaining work, which surely deserves its unofficial title of best
Soviet
silent comedy ever. (64 min, b&w)

Thursday, August 19, 6 pm


Dark is the Night (Odnazhdy nochyu) directed
by Boris Barnet (1945)

This film, with Barnet as actor and director,
was thought to be lost before its rediscovery only a decade ago. Shot
in 1944, it tells the allegorical story of a patriotic Russian schoolgirl
who, upon witnessing the German invasion of her hometown, helps to
hide
several Russian soldiers amidst the real life ruins of war-torn Stalingrad.
Daring in its portrayal of a defiant Russian community and of the consequences
of such resistance. (81 min, b&w)

Friday, August 20, 7 pm


Alenka directed by Boris Barnet (1961)

Barnet's penultimate
film is set in 1955, when many migrated from Russia to settle parts of
Kazakhstan. While
on their journey through the Steppe, the title character and other travelers
recount their memoirs, which are cinematically articulated through
experiments
in narration, temporality and animation. (88 min, b&w)

Saturday, August
21, 5 pm




PETERSBURG
TALES — DIARY OF GOGOL

17 performances (August 4-August 21, Resnick Drama
Studio)



The Fisher Center's Resnick Drama Studio hosts three
intimate works in extraordinary productions that not only illuminate the
writing and spirit of Nikolai Gogol, but also introduce American audiences
to rich new talents from Eastern Europe.


The Overcoat (in English)

August 4-8

Dostoyevsky said that all Russian
literature comes out of Gogol's Overcoat. So it is fitting that St. Petersburg Tales opens with a two-person clown show performing Gogol's tale about the
poor St. Petersburg clerk whose soul is smothered by a long dreamed-of
overcoat. Credo Theater of Bulgaria has
played this production in eight languages around the world, winning many
awards.


Nevsky Prospekt (in Russian with English surtitles)

August 11-15

Gogol's tale of the "Sunset Boulevard" of
St. Petersburg, in an extraordinary version for marionettes by St. Petersburg's
young Potudan Theater.


White Cabin (wordless physical theater)

August 18-21

The St. Petersburg AKHE Theater is
one of the most imaginative and visually stunning physical theater groups
in the world. This production won a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh
Festival in 2003 and is an extraordinary display of how Gogol continues
to bewitch successive generations of artists of St. Petersburg.



MOSCOW: CHERRY TREE TOWERS

A musical in two acts by Dmitrii Shostakovich.

5 performances (August 11-15, LUMA Theater)

Stage Director: Francesca Zambello.

Musical direction and adaptation: Sergei
Dreznin; Dramaturg: Cori Ellison

Choreography: Dan Pelzig; Set and Costume Design:
Skip Mercier; Lighting Design: Mark McCullogh



Shostakovich's only musical, Cheryemushki (which
takes its name from a notorious 1950s Moscow housing project that promised
its residents "paradise"), translates roughly as Cherry Tree Towers. It is a tale of love and corruption, with a
level of social commentary that was just barely permissible in the years
just after Stalin's death.


Francesca Zambello, who is also directing
Shostakovich's opera, The Nose, envisions this reduced version as a cabaret-style
musical, with a handful of performers and musicians.



15th ANNUAL BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL

SHOSTAKOVICH AND HIS WORLD

August 13-15 and August
20-22

The Bard
Music Festival was founded in 1990 to promote new ways of understanding
and presenting the history of music to contemporary audiences. Under
its founder and artistic director, Leon Botstein, the 2004 festival promises
a concentrated examination of Soviet composer Dmitrii Shostakovich (1906-75)
two years before the centennial of his birth. Complete details will
be published separately.


Works by Shostakovich, his contemporaries
and predecessors, his successors and his followers, will be performed. There
also will be lectures, panel discussions, and symposia.



Some of the scheduled themes
of panels and programs are: Shostakovich's Character and Career, his Public
and Private Personas, and From Success to Disgrace: The Early Career. Other
topics will cover Ideology and Individualism, Art and Culture in the Soviet
Era, Out of the Shadow of 1948, and Soviet Popular Music.


Shostakovich's works to
be played in concert include Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1; late String
Quartets; Symphonies Nos. 1, 4, 10 & 14, some of the solo Piano
Preludes; and choral and other vocal works. Other composers to be performed
include Prokofiev, Skriabin, Glazunov, Miaskovsky, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian,
Denisov, Shebalin, Krennikov, Dzerzhinsky, Gnesin, and Popov.


Guest-scholars will include Shostakovich
experts Laurel E. Fay and David
Fanning, as well as Caryl Emerson and others.



# # #


(2.16.04)


Bard SummerScape Box Office Phone: (845) 758-7900


Bard College website: www.bard.edu/fishercenter


SummerScape Press contact: Mark Primoff (845) 758-7412, primoff@bard.edu


21C Media Group contact: Glenn Petry (212) 625-2038, href="mailto:gpetry@21cmediagroup.com">gpetry@21cmediagroup.com

 

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This event was last updated on 05-24-2005