Two Tony-winning theatre stars will share the stage with Renée Fleming in upcoming presentations of the late André Previn and Tom Stoppard’s Penelope.
As previously reported, Uma Thurman will play the narrator role in the piece’s world premiere, set for July 24 at Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts. A bow at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival follows July 28, with Tony Award winner Jennifer Ehle (Oslo, The Coast of Utopia) as the narrator. Fellow Tony winner Victoria Clark (Gigi, The Light in the Piazza) will then assume the role for the work’s Colorado premiere with the Aspen Music Festival and School August 1.
Clark earned her Tony for portraying The Light in the Piazza’s Margaret Johnson—a role that has now become a part of Fleming’s repertoire after a London engagement and upcoming bows in Los Angeles and Chicago.
All three performances will also feature the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Simone Dinnerstein.
The premiere was announced in November last year, months before Previn’s death in February. The take on Homer’s Odyssey will now be presented in dedication to him. As Previn’s manuscript was left unfinished, his longtime editor and copyist David Fetherolf created a full working score so that the performance could go on as scheduled.
The piece, originally conceived as part of Tanglewood’s celebration of Previn’s 90th birthday, was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Tanglewood’s summer resident), Ravinia, AMFS, and the Kennedy Center.