New Island Festival Offers Fresh Orfeo Adaptation Through Sept. 20

Classic Arts Features   New Island Festival Offers Fresh Orfeo Adaptation Through Sept. 20
 
Among the events staged currently on Governor's Island is a new English-language version of Orfeo incorporating Monteverdi's opera, vocals by Jeroen Willems, an improv ensemble and a Mediterranean dinner.


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Over 150 Dutch artists will perform during the festival that is presented as part of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage into New York Harbor and up the river that now bears his name. The Festival, a collection of free and ticketed events, runs two extended September weekends (Sept. 10-13 and 17-20).

Theatrical highlights include Ivo van Hove's interpretation of Cocteau's La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice), a solo work which "centers on a woman's last desperate phone call to her ex-lover." Actress Halina Reijn will star in the 70-minute work performed in Dutch with English subtitles.

Director Jetse Batelaan will stage his environmental work Broeders (Brothers) in which a unique structure is built to house both the audience and performers. The 70-minute presentation is performed in English.

Compagnie Dakar's 55-minute piece Braakland, staged by Lotte Van den Berg, "tells a tale of nine figures wandering about a forgotten land. They surrender to the laws of living and dying, without defense. Is this an existence that they have chosen _ or one they merely failed to escape?"

In their American debut, De Jongens presents Under Construction. Festival notes for the 50-minute presentation read: "Using a ridiculous number of old refrigerators, washing machines, and microwaves - and everything else they can get their hands on - Under Construction brings slapstick to a zany and enthralling new level."

De Veenfabriek's Orfeo will offer a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice that incorporates Monteverdi's opera Orfeo, actor-singer Jeroen Willems, improv ensemble Track and a Mediterranean dinner from Andr_ Amaro. The 75-minute production is performed in English.

Additional highlights include TUIG's towering outdoor spectacle Salto Vitale, the U.S. premiere of Silent Disco, the Boulevard of Broken Dreams (a 500-foot culinary family table that serves as a mini-stage), Theo Botschuijver's Waterwalk on the Hudson, the crash course in Dutch history Zap Holland, Iris Hond's Flying Grand Piano, singer-songwriter Ellen ten Damme's Impossible Girl and a series of original pieces from American acting students and Dutch theatre makers Orkater.

The New Island Festival will play Thursday _Sunday on the following schedule: Thursday and Friday noon-midnight; Saturday 10 AM-midnight; and Sunday 10 AM-10 PM.

Visitors wishing to sample the full range of theatrical productions and events at the New Island Festival may purchase a $35 all-access one-day Passport. With a Passport, tickets to nearly everything are FREE and will be provided by the box office exclusively to Passport holders on a same-day, first-come, first-served basis until one hour prior to showtime.

The festival will be accessible via a free ferry from southern Manhattan. For additional information and to purchase Passports, visit NewIslandFestival.


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