May 27, 2010
On April 10-11 2010, American Opera Projects and the Boston Classical Orchestra presented a concert staging of Herschel Garfein‘s new comic opera Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall. Based on Tom Stoppard’s existential play of the same title, Garfein wrote both the score and the libretto for this lively adaption.
Seven semi-staged scenes were performed; some featured the lead soloists, and others included a chorus of students from the New England Conservatory. The title roles were performed by Krista River (mezzo-soprano), Chad Sloan (baritone), David Kravitz (baritone) and Jeffrey Tucker (bass). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, played by David Kravitz and Chad Sloan respectively, were the obvious audience favorites. The Boston Globe described the two baritones’ performances favorably, saying, “David Kravitz and Chad Sloan sang with skill, power, and exemplary diction, and acted their parts as well as they could from their music stands.” Krista River was also lauded for her “beautifully sung” rendition of “The Unicorn Song.”
The opera scenes were paired with Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 to cap BCO’s 30th season.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is currently in development at AOP.
February 12, 2010
AOP's Nov 2009 workshop of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead directed by Mark Morris.
The upcoming April concert of Herschel Garfein‘s opera-in-development Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead is already creating a buzz in Beantown. The performance of orchestrated scenes by Boston Classical Orchestra (in association with AOP) was picked by the critics at The Boston Globe as one of the season’s must-see events.
The orchestral premiere of scenes from the new comic opera based on the play by Tom Stoppard will be performed with BCO’s first performance of Schumann’s Second Symphony (marking the 200th anniversary of Schumann’s birth), all in celebration of the BCO’s 30th anniversary. R&G will feature performances by Krista River, Chad Sloan, David Kravitz, and Jeffrey Tucker.
And while you’re at it, check out the recent Sunday Times magazine article about the great jazz composer/pianist Fred Hersch (with extraordinary photos by Lee Friedlander). It highlights the piece he and Herschel Garfein are working on together, dealing with his two-month long coma of a few years back.
“I was still alive for all that time I was unconscious, but the only life I had was in my dreams and nightmares, and they were incredibly strange and sometimes horrifying and sometimes beautiful,” Hersch said. “I was in a lot of physical pain and discomfort. I found out later that I had been restrained — I was strapped to the bed, and the dreams I had were unbelievably weird and mysterious. I’ve been trying to come to terms with what I went through, and the best way I know is to try to express it in music.” – Fred Hersch
Herschel says to look for the premiere in May 2011.