Ensemble for the Romantic Century
Announces the 2018-‘19 Season
Three Play Season to Include the Off-Broadway Premieres of
BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson, MAESTRO, and
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: Tales Real & Imagined
Performances Begin September 15th
Tickets Now On Sale!
Ensemble for the Romantic Century (Eve Wolf, Executive Artistic Director) is proud to announce that the 2018-‘19 season, ERC’s 18th, will begin September 15th with BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson. Opening Night is set for September 27th. This limited Off-Broadway engagement runs through October 21st only. Performances will be in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues).
Next up will be Maestro, with performances from January 3rd to February 9th, with opening night set for January 14th at The Duke on 42nd Street (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues).
The third and final show of the season will be Hans Christian Andersen – Tales Real & Imagined. Performances will begin April 13th for a limited run through June 1st, with opening night scheduled for April 28th, also at The Duke on 42nd Street.
Donald T. Sanders will direct all three productions. Casts and design team will be announced shortly.
“This season, ERC creates three wildly different portraits of three wildly different artistic personalities - Emily Dickinson, Arturo Toscanini, and Hans Christian Andersen,” said Eve Wolf, Executive Artistic Director. “ERC's genre-breaking, imaginative musical-dramatic performances aim to bring these artists' unique voices to life.”
The critically acclaimed Ensemble for the Romantic Century, now in its 18th Season, conjures the past with original multimedia productions that fuse chamber music, drama, and history. The subject matters span across centuries, from Tolstoy to Toscanini, from Verne to Van Gogh, all brought to life through the fusion of drama and sound. We believe that one can understand Freud more deeply by listening to the erotic cabaret music of fin de siècle Vienna, that one can appreciate Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” more profoundly by listening to him speak of his tortured love life and his debilitating deafness. By illuminating the interplay between literature, biography and music we have transformed the concert experience.
ERC was founded by pianist Eve Wolf in 2001 with the intention of creating an engaging and innovative approach to chamber music concerts. ERC’s theatrical concerts interweave letters, memoirs, diaries, poems, and other literature with chamber and vocal music; the music’s historical context is reinforced through its connections with history, politics, philosophy, psychology, and the other arts to create a compelling new performance experience. These unique productions merge dramatic and fully staged scripts with music, recapturing the past with a sense of immediacy that transports, illuminates, and captivates. The scripts, drawn from historical material that includes letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper articles, poetry, and literature create an intricate counterpoint to the musical program. The subject matters span across centuries, from Tolstoy to Toscanini, from Verne to Van Gogh, all brought to life through the fusion of drama and music. By illuminating the interplay between literature, biography and music ERC has transformed the concert experience. The Romantic Century was about imagination and experimentation. Elevating the human condition through art: that is the spirit we hope to summon.
ERC has created over 40 original theatrical concerts at such institutions as BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA; The Jewish Museum of New York; the Archivio Fano of Venice, Italy; the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal; the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts/MIFA; the French Institute-Alliance Française/FIAF, New York; the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University; the Italian Cultural Institute of New York; and the City University of New York (CUNY). ERC’s programs are distinguished by their artistic excellence, breadth of repertoire, and variety of subject matter. In its relatively short history, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century has enriched the music scene with highly innovative productions that are also historically informed, aesthetically exquisite, and emotionally transporting.
The three-play season, written by ERC Executive Artistic Director Eve Wolf, includes:
BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson – Emily Dickinson produced some of the most haunting and mysterious works of the 19th Century but she was one of the most elusive artistic personalities. In Dickinson’s self-imposed solitude, she constructs a world of images, sensations, and emotions ruled by the breadth of her imaginations. Through a pairing of her words with the music of renowned composer Amy Beach, audiences embark on a journey through Dickinson’s soul and inner world.
MAESTRO brings to life the story of conductor Arturo Toscanini who bravely opposed Fascism in Italy and America. Through his trips to Palestine to conduct an orchestra made up of Jewish refugees, Toscanini clashes with Mussolini and Hitler showing the world that artists can raise their voices against totalitarianism. A moving theatrical experience drawing from his passionate personal letters along with music of his contemporaries, audiences enter into the mind of a Maestro.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: Tales Real & Imagined – Hans Christian Andersen is known as one of the most prolific authors of fairy tales, having written over 3300, some of which are so infused to our culture it's hard to imagine a world without them. This piece explores beyond just the magic taking a deeper look at the inner life of Andersen and how some of his most memorable tales, transcend age and nationality.
Eve Wolf is Founder and Executive Artistic Director of ERC as well as playwright. Recent credits include Van Gogh’s Ear (Pershing Square Signature Center, 2017; New York Times Critic’s Pick); Anna Akhmatova: The Heart Is Not Made of Stone (BAM, 2016; New York Times Critic’s Pick); and Jules Verne: From the Earth to The Moon (BAM, 2015; also a New York Times Critic’s Pick). Ms. Wolf founded Ensemble for the Romantic Century in 2001 with the mission of creating an innovative and dramatic concert format in which the emotions revealed in memoirs, letters, diaries, and literature are dramatically interwoven with music, thus bringing to life the sensations and passions of a bygone era. For the past sixteen seasons, Ms. Wolf has written scripts for more than twenty-five of ERC’s theatrical concerts and has performed in most of the ensemble’s forty-plus original productions. Some highlights include Ms. Wolf’s scripts for Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart, which was performed at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA (2013) and at BAM (2014); Van Gogh’s Ear at the Festival de Musique de Chambre de Montréal; Fanny Mendelssohn: Out of her Brother’s Shadow commissioned by the Jewish Museum of New York; and The Dreyfus Affair and Peggy Guggenheim Stripped Bare by her Bachelors. In 2009, she performed before a sold-out audience at the Sale Apollinee of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in the Italian production of her script, Toscanini: Nel mio cuore troppo di assoluto.
Donald T. Sanders has been Director of Theatrical Production for ERC since 2005. In 2011, he directed Seduction, Smoke and Music at the Tuscan Sun Festival starring Jeremy Irons and Sinéad Cusack. Other ERC productions include Toscanini: Nel mio cuore troppo di assoluto at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Sale Apolline, and Van Gogh’s Ear at New York’s Florence Gould Hall and the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal. He has directed productions at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater as well as the off-Broadway plays of Arnold Weinstein, Eric Bentley, Kenneth Koch and William Russo. Sanders is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. He is the Executive Artistic Director of The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA), presenting such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vanessa Redgrave, England’s Out of Joint and Complicite companies, and France’s Comédie Française. In 2002, Sanders was made a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France.
The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among the artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and the Signature Café + Bar, open to the public from noon-midnight Tuesdays - Sundays. For more information on renting the Center please visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.
Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street is an independent nonprofit organization charged with the continuous cultural revival of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, building on the foundation of seven historic theaters to make extraordinary performing arts and cultural engagement part of everyone’s life. The New 42nd Street fulfills this purpose by ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of 42nd Street’s historic theaters; supporting performing artists in the creation of their work at the New 42nd Street Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street; creating arts access and education at The New Victory Theater, New York’s premier theater for kids and families; and through the New 42nd Street Youth Corps, its model youth development initiative, which pairs life skills workshops and mentorship with paid employment in the arts for NYC youth. Inspired by the city it serves, The New 42nd Street is committed to the transformational power of the arts. The Duke on 42nd Street is a centrally-located black box theater rental that offers smaller scale productions the unique opportunity to perform on famed 42nd Street. Housed within the New 42nd Street Studios, The Duke on 42nd Street is a fully-staffed facility featuring customizable, state-of-the-art seating in various configurations, and full light, sound and support systems. The venue has hosted such companies as Playwright’s Realm, Red Bull Theater, Primary Stages, Transport Group, Theatre for a New Audience, Lincoln Center Theater LCT3, The Royal Court Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Armitage Gone! Dance, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Naked Angels, Classical Theater of Harlem and the National Theater of Great Britain.
Season subscriptions, from $149 offering tickets for all three shows, are now available for purchase at romanticcentury.org.
Individual tickets, which are now on sale as well, are $39 to $149.
Tickets for BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP: An Encounter with Emily Dickinson can be purchased online at TicketCentral.com; by phone at 212-279-4200; or in person at 416 West 42nd Street (12 noon to 8pm daily).
Tickets for MAESTRO and HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: Tales Real & Imagined can be purchased online at Dukeon42.org; by phone at 646-223-3010; or in person at The Duke on 42nd Street at 229 West 42nd Street (Tuesdays-Fridays 4-7 and Saturdays 12-6).
For more information, visit romanticcentury.org.