I have a Japanese carving

Hell’s Fury(*) is a two man show about Hanns Eisler conceived and created by Tim Albery.  It’s focussed on his time in the United States and, somewhat, on his return to the DDR.  It combines songs from the Hollywood Songbook (poems by Brecht and others set by Eisler), dialogue and projections to tell the story of Eisler’s arrival in Hollywood, his work in the US, his deportation as a result of the “work” of the House Un-American Activities Committee and his return to the GDR and struggles to come to terms with the Stalinist culturecrats leading ultimately to drink, depression and death.

Russell Braun in Hell's Fury The Hollywood Songbook_Photo by Trevor Haldenby (2)

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The week in prospect

russian-salonTomorrow (Sunday) afternoon Off Centre Music Salon opens its 2016/17 season at 3pm at Trinity St. Paul’s.  It’s an all Russian show called Four Seasons or Mother Russia.  It will feature songs by Prokofiev’s The Ugly Duckling and songs byTchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff, as well as Arensky’s Piano Trio in D minor (op. 32).  The highlight is the Toronto premiere of Valery Gavrilin’s song cycle Seasons inspired by Northern Russian folklore and chanting traditions.  Performers include cellist Igor Gefter, pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, violinist Mark Skazinetky and singers Joni Henson and Ryan Harper.

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The Devil Inside

I met with Tapestry Artistic Director Michael Mori earlier today to talk about the upcoming co-production with Scottish Opera of Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh’s new opera The Devil Inside.  I’m not familiar with the work of either composer or librettist but each are well regarded in their own spheres; Welsh having made a name for herself with a number of psychological crime novels.  And that seems like a good background for adapting Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Bottle Imp on which the opera is loosely based. The story itself is extremely creepy.  Right up there in fact with, say, James’ The Turn of the Screw, which got turned into a pretty decent opera!

devilinside

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