PostClassical Ensemble and Georgetown University Present Falla/Stravinsky Double Bill Featuring Esperanza Fernandez

Posted in Announcements Press Releases

Festivities include “Seeking Spain in Cinema,” two days of film screenings organized in association with the National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC — “Falla/Stravinsky,” a double bill featuring new, fully staged productions of Manuel de Falla’s “El Amor Brujo” and Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” will be presented Dec. 3 and 4, 2011, by PostClassical Ensemble in association with Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts. The performances will take place at Georgetown’s intimate Davis Performing Arts Center, in the Gonda Theatre, and mark the DC debut of Esperanza Fernandez, one of Spain’s pre-eminent flamenco artists.

In addition to Esperanza Fernandez, “El Amor Brujo,” choreographed and directed by Igal Perry (DC debut), features eight members of his New York-based Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. “The Soldier’s Tale,” directed by Anna Harwell Celenza, features actors from Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts, as well as Joanna DeFelice from the Peridance Company (in the role of the Princess). Costumes for both productions are designed by Debra Kim Sivigny, with scenic and lighting design by Robbie Hayes. Angel Gil-Ordonez, music director of PostClassical Ensemble, conducts PostClassical Ensemble (onstage) in both works. Joseph Horowitz, artistic director of PostClassical Ensemble, produces “El Amor Brujo” (which is intended to tour).

Horowitz says, “Falla’s ‘El amor brujo’ is famous and yet incompletely known. A 25-minute orchestral suite (1916), including the popular Ritual Fire Dance and three vocal numbers, is commonly performed. The piece originated, however, in 1915 as a 35-minute gitaneria (gypsy entertainment with dialogue, song, and dance, supported by a small pit orchestra), bristling with the grit and passion of flamenco. Our new PostClassical Ensemble production retains the pithiness of the 1916 suite, but with the addition of a flamenco singer and new choreography. A major choreographer, Igal Perry, choreographs and directs. Also, we have elected to retain the original 1915 scoring for an ensemble of 18 and 22 players and place orchestra and conductor onstage. The result is a “portable” production we intend to tour, one that aims to restore the narrative power and elemental gypsy flavor of the original version, unburdened by extensive dialogue and superfluous plot detail.”

Celenza says, “’The Soldier’s Tale’ expresses the artists’ reactions to WWI. Told in the guise of a folk tale, the work is timeless in its exploration of modern man’s innocent desire to have it all: health, wealth and companionship. The piece is a pivotal work in Stravinsky’s repertoire, in that it reveals both his preoccupation with music traditions of the past and his experimentation with compositional techniques that would be more thoroughly developed in later works. In our fully staged production, we strive for a similar aesthetic: traditional theater craft and modern technology collide in a narrative that explores the effects of war and greed on contemporary society. In our re-imagining of the tale, audiences will discover that the evocative music and underlying message of ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ are as fresh and significant today as they were nearly a century ago.”

There will be three performances of the double bill: two on Saturday, Dec. 3 and one on Sunday, Dec. 4. All three include a pre-concert component featuring Antonio Munoz-Molina, one of Spain’s foremost contemporary novelists and a leading cultural historian of Spanish modernism. In addition, the National Gallery of Art will host a linked two-day event, “Seeking Spain in the Cinema,” featuring four films Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26 and 27, and exploring how throughout its history, Hollywood has reduced race and ethnicity to conventions and stereotypes that serve to pique viewer interest. In this program, the portrayal of Spanish identity (including the Civil War era and modern flamenco culture) in three classic Hollywood narrative films is contrasted with “El Amor Brujo”(1986), the final film in Carlos Saura’s flamenco cycle, offered on Nov. 27 with a flamenco set in live performance featuring Esperanza Fernandez and guitarist Richard Marlow.

Falla/Stravinsky
El Amor Brujo / The Soldier’s Tale
Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 2 p.m.

Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, Gonda Theatre
37th & O Street, NW
Washington, DC
Tickets: $25 ($5 with Student ID)

“El Amor Brujo” by Manuel de Falla
Esperanza Fernandez, cantaora
Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (New York City)
Lighting and set design by Robbie Hayes
Costume design by Debra Kim Sivigny
Directed and choreographed by Igal Perry
PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

“The Soldier’s Tale” by Igor Stravinsky
Narrator: Stephen Murray; Soldier: John Roach; Devil: Allison Villarreal
Directed by Anna Harwell Celenza
Lighting and set design by Robbie Hayes
Costume design by Debra Kim Sivigny
Choreography by Igal Perry
PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

For “Falla/Stravinsky” tickets or more information, visit http://performingarts.georgetown.edu or call (202) 687-ARTS (2787) Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.
Pre-concert presentations one hour before curtain time with Antonio Muñoz Molina, Igal Perry, Angel Gil-Ordonez, and Anna Harwell Celenza; hosted by Joseph Horowitz

Support for “Falla/Stravinsky” is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Spain’s Ministry of Culture, Spain Arts and Culture, and José Andrés’ Jaleo.

Seeking Spain in the Cinema
Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

National Gallery of Art – East Building Concourse, Auditorium
4th and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC

Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.
“The Barefoot Contessa” (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954)
“Behold a Pale Horse” (Fred Zinnemann, 964)
Commentary by Josep Colomer

Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“The Devil is a Woman” (Josef von Sternberg, 1935) at 2 p.m.
“El Amor Brujo” (Carlos Saura, 1986) at 4 p.m.
Performance by Esperanza Fernandez, cantaora,
and Richard Marlow, guitar.
Commentary by Josep Colomer and Antonio Muñoz Molina.

PostClassical Ensemble was founded in 2003 by Angel Gil-Ordóñez (Music Director) and Joseph Horowitz (Artistic Director) as an experimental musical laboratory. “More than an orchestra,” it endeavors to expand the boundaries of orchestral programming and explore new presentation models for the field. This season, subsequent “Falla/Stravinsky,” PostClassical Ensemble presents “Schubert Uncorked,” March 31 at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall – a program featuring the world’s greatest bass trombonist, the unclassifiable David Taylor, in the world premiere of the Arpeggione Concerto for trombone and orchestra – a reworking of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata. For full information: www.postclassical.com. The Ensemble’s 2011-2012 season marks a further stage in its ongoing collaborations with Strathmore, the National Gallery of Art, and Georgetown University (the Ensemble’s Educational Partner) – a partnership supported by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. PostClassical Ensemble broadcasts via Sirius XM Satellite Radio and WFMT Chicago, and records for Naxos. New this season is “PostClassical Underground” at DC’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club. Reviewing the inaugural “Underground” concert, featuring Genadi Zagor improvising on Gershwin, Stephen Brookes wrote in the Washington Post: “PostClassical Ensemble never met a musical convention it didn’t want to smash, which is why its concerts tend to be the most adventurous in town.” PostClassical Underground continues with pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-fen playing Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk (Jan. 22), and the David Taylor Trio (Feb. 18). To date, PostClassical Ensemble has presented more than five dozen events in the Washington, DC, region, and has toured programs to New York City and Chicago, including the sold-out American stage premiere of Manuel de Falla’s El Corregidor y la Molinera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Angel Gil-Ordóñez, the former associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Spain, has conducted symphonic music, opera and ballet throughout Europe, the United States and Latin America. In the United States, he has appeared with the American Composers Orchestra, Opera Colorado, the Pacific Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, the Brooklyn Phil- harmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the National Gallery Orchestra in Washington. Abroad, he has been heard with the Munich Philharmonic, the Solistes de Berne, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and at the Bellas Artes National Theatre in Mexico City. In summer of 2000, he toured the major music festivals of Spain with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra in the Spanish premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Born in Madrid, Gil-Ordóñez has recorded four CDs devoted to Spanish composers, as well as a CD with PostClassical Ensemble’s Virgil Thomson and Copland CD/DVDs. In 2006, the king of Spain awarded Gil-Ordóñez the country’s highest civilian decoration, the Royal Order of Queen Isabella, for his work in advancing Spanish culture around the world and for performing and teaching Spanish music in its cultural context.

Joseph Horowitz, PostClassical Ensemble Artistic Director, has long been a pioneer in classical music programming. As Executive Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1990s, he received national attention for “The Russian Stravinsky,” “American Transcendentalists,” “Flamenco,” and other festivals exploring the folk roots of concert works. Now an artistic advisor to various American orchestras, he has created more than three dozen interdisciplinary music festivals. In Fall 2008, he inaugurated the New York Philharmonic’s “Inside the Music” series, writing, hosting and producing programs on Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and Brahms. He is currently curating thematic festival projects for the Florida Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Called “our nation’s leading scholar of the symphony orchestra” by Charles Olton, former President of the League of American Orchestras, Mr. Horowitz is also the award-winning author of eight books mainly dealing with the institutional history of classical music in the United States. Both his Classical Music in America: A History (2005) and Artists in Exile: How Refugees from 20th Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts (2008) were named best books of the year by The Economist. As Project Director of an NEH National Education Project, as well as an NEH Teacher Training Institute, he is the author of a book for young readers entitled Dvořák in America, linked to a state-of-the-art DVD. His website is www.josephhorowitz.com; his blog is www.artsjournal/uq.

Esperanza Fernandez, born in Seville to a distinguished gypsy flamenco family, is one of the great names in flamenco today. She first sang as primera cantaora (lead singer) at the age of 16, and has appeared with such eminent flamenco artists Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla, Rafael Riqueni, Enrique Morente. She has sung El Amor Brujo on many occasions, including a 2002 recording with Rafael Brühbeck d Burgos and the National Orchestra of Spain. She has portrayed Candela in the stage version of El Amor Brujo at Madrid’s Teatro Lara. Her repertoire also includes Falla’s Seven Popular Songs. The present performances mark her DC debut.

Peridance Contemporary Dance Company was established in 1984 by founder and artistic director Igal Perry. The company resides within New York City’s Peridance Capezio Center, a venue for dance study and performance, and is the resident company of its Salvatore Capezio Theater. As part of its quest for a unique identity, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company has always sought a diversity of collaborating choreographers and composers. The company’s repertoire has included original works by such choreographers as Ohad Naharin, John Butler, Danny Ezralow, and Benjamin Harkarvy, in addition to Igal Perry. The company has performed as far afield as Alaska while maintaining major New York seasons. While upholding the elegance and articulation of classical ballet, the company is structured to explore innovative movement and design. The current season includes the second edition of Igal Perry’s The Nutcracker.

Igal Perry, Founder and Artistic Director of Peridance Capezio Center and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (established 1983/1984), is a choreographer, ballet master and dance educator. Mr. Perry’s Ballet classes introduce a fresh approach to traditional ballet vocabulary. His teaching engagements have include Scapino and Het National Ballet (Holland), Laterna Magica and the National Ballet of Prague, Architanz (Tokyo), The Royal Ballet of Sweden, the National Ballet of China, and the Kwang-Ju City Ballet Company (Korea), where he has also served as Artistic Director for the Kwang-Ju International Ballet Competition. In addition to his daily Ballet class at Peridance, Mr. Perry serves as guest master teacher at Jacob’s Pillow Festival and The Juilliard School. Igal Perry’s choreography, often in collaboration with contemporary composers has been called “blessedly inventive” (Jennifer Dunning, the New York Times). His works have been set by the Batsheva and Bat-Dor Dance Companies (Israel), Complexions Dance Company (NYC), Companhia de Danca de Lisboa (Portugal), Alberta Ballet (Canada), Florence Dance Festival, (Italy), and Teatro Alla Scala (Milan), where he directed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera Paradise Lost.

Anna Harwell Celenza, Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University, is the author of several scholarly books – the most recent being Hans Christian Andersen and Music: The Nightingale Revealed (2005). Her work has also appeared in The Hopkins Review, Music & Politics, Musical Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Music, Notes, The Cambridge Companion to Liszt (2005), and Franz Liszt and His World (2006). In addition to her scholarly work, she has authored a series of award-winning children’s books with Charlesbridge Publishing: The Farewell Symphony (2000), Pictures at an Exhibition (2003), The Heroic Symphony (2004), Bach’s Goldberg Variations (2005), Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (2006), Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (2011) and a 14-part syndicated series on Louis Armstrong for the NC Press Foundation. Her work has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including NPR’s “Todd Mundt Show”, BBC’s “Music Matters” and “Proms Broadcasts”, and C-Span’s “Book-TV”. Before coming to Georgetown, she served as a writer and guest commentator for Michigan Public Radio (WKAR) and NPR’s “Performance Today.”

Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts integrates creative and critical inquiry, emphasizing artistic excellence, interdisciplinary learning, socially engaged performance, and the spirit of collaboration. The department is home to the College’s undergraduate degree programs in American Musical Culture and Theater & Performance Studies with dozens of performing groups in all aspects of the performing arts. Administering a wide range of activities—from teaching critical and creative courses to mentoring participation in student organizations—the department also sponsors the professional Friday Music concert series in McNeir Hall and hosts a full season of Theater in the state-of-the-art Davis Performing Arts Center.

National Gallery of Art Film Program, a continuing exhibition program of classic cinema, international avant-garde, documentary, ciné-concerts, and area premieres, occurs each weekend in the National Gallery’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street at Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The program is unique in the Washington area, combining rare and historically significant work in original formats while presenting film as an art form. Commentary by noted scholars often precedes events. The Gallery is a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), maintaining an archival collection of documentary film on the arts. Programs are free of charge but seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before each event.

Contact:
Georgetown University Department of Performing Arts
Laura Mertens:lmm236@georgetown.edu or 202-687-6933