Rosalind Ayres and Martin Jarvis populate the double-bill compiled from the music and letters of Robert and Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Franz Liszt. Jarvis also directs the plays with music that will run through Dec. 7. Acclaimed concert pianist Lucy Parham will perform as part of Odyssey of Love.
Beloved Clara, based on the relationships of Robert Schumann, his wife Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, "brings their history to vivid life through their music and excerpts from their passionate writings," according to press notes. "It chronicles the sometimes troubled marriage of Clara and Robert; the arrival in their household of the dynamic, 21-year-old Brahms; Robert's decline into mental illness; and the deepening, intriguing bond between Clara and Brahms."
Odyssey of Love "depicts Liszt's tempestuous relations with two fascinating women: the aristocratic freethinking rebel (and mother of his children) Marie d'Agoult, and the cigar-smoking intellectual Princess Carolyne von Sayn Wittgenstein. A child prodigy who became the greatest keyboard virtuoso of his time, Liszt was also a prolific composer whose output ranged from hundreds of piano pieces to symphonies, tone poems, songs and oratorios. An indefatigable traveler and a friend and supporter of Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin and Wagner, Liszt's life was crammed full of incident and romance, and he was drawn to women like a moth to a flame," according to press notes.
As with all L.A.T.W. productions, the two works will be presented at the Skirball Cultural Center and will be recorded and subsequently broadcast on L.A.T.W.'s nationally syndicated radio theatre series, "The Play's the Thing."
For tickets, priced $20-$48, to any of "The Play's The Thing" productions at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, call the L.A. Theatre Works box office at (310) 827-0889. For more information visit latw.org.