'Elgar and His World' to Be Theme of Bard SummerScape 2007

Classic Arts News   'Elgar and His World' to Be Theme of Bard SummerScape 2007
 
The 2007 Bard SummerScape festival — which runs from July 5 through August 19 at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York — includes an in-depth exploration of Edward Elgar and his contemporaries; a double-bill of operas by Alexander von Zemlinsky; a dance commission for choreographer Doug Varone; and a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan's little-known operetta The Sorcerer.

The eleven programs comprising the 18th annual Bard Music Festival — presented under the title "Elgar and His World" — include concerts, lectures and symposia held over SummerScape's final two weekends: August 10 _12 and 17 _19, with a third weekend slated for October 26 _27.

Programs are organized by topics such as "Elgar: From Autodidact to Master of the King's Musick," "Music in the Era of Queen Victoria" and "Das Land ohne Musik? — Views of British Music in the 19th Century."

The musical lineup includes, in addition to works by Elgar himself, repertoire by Wagner, Brahms, Faur_, and Strauss, as well as music by Elgar's English contemporaries such as William Sterndale Bennett, Charles Villiers Stanford, Hubert Parry, Arthur Sullivan, Percy Grainger, Ethel Smyth, William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Arthur Bliss.

Music director Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra will be in residence, closing the festival with Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius. The music of Elgar is also the inspiration for a new dance commission for Doug Varone and Dancers.

Botstein and the ASO will also perform, on a double-bill, the first staged U.S. productions of Zemlinsky's one-act operas A Florentine Tragedy and The Dwarf. Both operas (which are based on works by Oscar Wilde) will be directed by Olivier Tambosi; sets and costumes will be designed by the team of McDermott and McGough and lighting is by Robert Wierzel.

Among SummerScape's other musical highlights is a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer, directed by Erica Schmidt and conducted by James Bagwell. Sets are by David Korins, costumes by Mattie Ullrich and lighting by David Weiner.

Most events will take place in the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by architect Frank Gehry and acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, which opened in 2003.


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