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Press Release

INAUGURAL SEASON OF "BARD SUMMERSCAPE,"
A FESTIVAL OF MUSIC, THEATER, OPERA, AND FILM
TO BE HELD JULY 23 – AUGUST 17, 2003

Mark Primoff
845-758-7412
primoff@bard.edu
04-10-2003

Featuring the 14th Annual Bard Music Festival, this Year Exploring
the Musical World of Leos Janáček

Highlights include the American stage premiere of Janáček’s opera Osud directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with set design by Frank Gehry; the world premiere of Don Juan in Prague with Czech film star Iva Bittová; a Czech Film Festival; the American debut of Russian director Kama Ginkas; a production of Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Vanished;
and Janáček’s rarely performed
Glagolitic Mass

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The inaugural season of Bard SummerScape, a new performing arts festival, will take place from July 23 to August 17 at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and other venues on Bard’s scenic Hudson Valley campus. It will feature the acclaimed Bard Music Festival, this year exploring the musical world of Czech composer Leos Janáček, as well as performances of opera, theater, and film, many of them premieres. Inspired by the outstanding programming of the Bard Music Festival, Bard SummerScape will use the new stages of the Fisher Center to expand on the theme of Janáček and his world.

Highlights of Bard SummerScape include the first American stage production of the Janáček opera Osud; the world premiere of Don Juan in Prague, based on Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with Czech film star Iva Bittová; a Czech Film Festival; two American premieres by Russian director Kama Ginkas and the Moscow New Generation Theater; performances of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen by the

Drak Theater, one of Europe’s most innovative puppet theaters; and the acclaimed Bard Music Festival, which will explore Janáček’s music through orchestral, choral, and chamber concerts, complemented by discussions, a symposium, and preconcert talks.

SummerScape performances will be presented in the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, the East Coast’s only performing arts center designed by Frank Gehry, and other venues at Bard. The 108,000 square-foot Fisher Center, only 90 miles from New York City, consists of two performance spaces: the Sosnoff Theater, an intimate, 900-seat theater for opera, music, theater, and dance, and the flexible LUMA Theater, which can accommodate approximately 200 people.

The Center’s director, Jonathan Levi, states: "The creation of the Fisher Center gives Bard an opportunity that is virtually unique among summer festivals—to entertain audiences of all ages with the full range of the performing arts, while presenting a theme inspired by a single, remarkable composer. The spirit of innovation and internationalism has guided Bard for many years, and this year SummerScape’s artists will include some of the most imaginative talents from Russia, the Czech Republic and, of course, the United States."

AMERICAN STAGE PREMIERE OF JANÁČEK OPERA

Bard SummerScape opens on Wednesday, July 23 with the American stage premiere of Janáček’s darkly romantic opera Osud (Fate), in Czech with English supertitles, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with sets by Frank Gehry. Composed in 1903-04 and inspired by a liaison at a spa, Osud was never performed during Janáček’s lifetime and received its stage premiere in Brno only in 1958. Music director Leon Botstein will lead a cast of 40 and the American Symphony Orchestra in five performances of this rarely heard Czech masterpiece, which tells the story of a tormented composer trying to trick fate by writing an opera about his own life.

WORLD PREMIERE OF "DON JUAN IN PRAGUE"

On Wednesday, July 30, the world premiere of Don Juan in Prague, based on Mozart’s Don Giovanni and adapted and directed by David Chambers, will feature original computer-driven arrangements of Mozart’s opera score by New Zealand composer Matthew Sutter, sung in Italian by a cast of eight. Czech singer, violinist, and film star Iva Bittová will make her first theatrical appearance in 15 years in the role of the jilted Donna Elvira, attempting to persuade Don Giovanni to choose her over Hell.

CZECH FILM FESTIVAL

A Czech Film Festival, opening on Thursday, July 24, will feature four evenings of films with English subtitles, celebrating the rich Moravian heritage of Leos Janáček. Janáček’s homeland has influenced several generations of Czech filmmakers, from Vladimír Sís to Jaromil Jires. Using state-of-the-art digital projection, this series will bring to life yet another dimension of the rich heritage of Janáček and his world.

TWO AMERICAN PREMIERES BY THE MOSCOW NEW GENERATION THEATER

The Moscow New Generation Theater will present two American premieres: K.I. From "Crime" and The Storm, directed by the renowned Russian directors Kama Ginkas and Genrietta Yanovskaya, respectively. The Storm, written in 1860 by Aleksandr Ostrovsky and used by Janáček as the basis for his opera Katya Kabanova, has won numerous awards in its native Moscow and throughout Europe and Asia. The Storm, in Russian with English supertitles, premieres on Thursday, August 7.

K.I. From "Crime," in Russian with synopsis in English, was adapted by Daniil Gink from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. The acclaimed Russian film actor Oksana Mysina stars as the widow of Raskolnikov’s drinking companion, Marmeladov. K.I. From "Crime" opens on Wednesday, August 6.

DRAK PUPPET THEATER PRESENTS THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN

Drak Theater, the innovative Czech puppet theater, will present a one-hour performance of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in the Fisher Center’s Dance Studio. There will be special lunchtime performances for family audiences, as well as a late-evening performance at NightScape, SummerScape’s late-night cabaret.

THE BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL

The 12 programs of the Bard Music Festival (August 8 - 10 and August 15 - 17), under artistic directors Leon Botstein, Christopher H. Gibbs, and Robert Martin, will explore Janáček’s music from early choral works to the instrumental masterpieces of the 1920’s, bringing together a broad range of genres, including opera, orchestral and chamber music, song repertoire, and folk music. Programs will be organized around such topics as "The Symphonic Imagination," "The Music of Language and Fantasy," "International Modernism," and "Folklore from the Field to the Parlor." Featured alongside Janáček’s music will be works by such contemporaries as Smetana, Fibich, Suk, and Dvořák. Works by Tchaikovsky, Szymanowski, and Bartók will be placed in the context of Janáček’s career, and audiences will also have an opportunity to hear works by Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Pavel Haas, and Otakar Ostrčil.

Festival highlights include a production of The Diary of One Who Vanished, directed by Robin Guarino; and a performance of Janáček’s rarely heard Glagolitic Mass, performed by the American Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Virtuoso Singers under the direction of Leon Botstein.

Leos Janáček (1854-1928) was born in Hukvaldy, Moravia, and was trained as a teacher. Except for brief periods of study in Prague, Leipzig, and Vienna, he spent most of his life as a schoolteacher and choral conductor in Brno. After composing his first opera, Sárka, he immersed himself in collecting and studying Moravian folk music. During the long period of composition of Jenůfa (1894-1903), Janáček rethought his approach to opera and to composition in general. He integrated folksong firmly into his music, and more importantly, his idea of "speech melody" began to influence his compositional output. Between 1919 and 1925 Janáček composed three of his finest operas: Katya Kabanova, The Cunning Little Vixen, and The Makropoulos Affair. He has since come to be regarded as one of the most substantial and original opera composers of the 20th century.

On Friday, August 15, the Festival will present a symposium entitled “Janáček’s World: Modernism and Nationalism.” As with past festivals, Princeton University Press will release a collection of essays and articles by noted scholars at the start of the festival. This season’s volume, Janáček and His World, is edited by Michael B. Beckerman.

DIRECTIONS

Bard College is situated 90 miles north of New York City in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and is easily accessible by public transportation, via MetroNorth or Amtrak trains. Directions to Bard College are available on the Web at www.bard.edu/fishercenter.

TICKETS

Tickets and information are available by calling the box office at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, 845-758-7900 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online at www.bard.edu/fishercenter (tickets for Bard SummerScape and Bard Music Festival events go on sale April 21). Tickets range in price from $10 - $65. Discounts are available for senior citizens over age 62, students, and children 18 and under. Groups of 15 or more are entitled to a $5 discount per ticket.

# # #

[Note to editors: Photographs are available by request. Call (845)-758-7412 or e-mail primoff@bard.edu for information.]

Contact: Mark Primoff
845.758.7412
primoff@bard.edu
or
Lois Cohn
Cohn Davis Associates
917.339.7187
lcohn@cohndavis.com

BARD SUMMERSCAPE
Chronological Listing

AMERICAN STAGE PREMIERE OF LEOS JANÁČEK’S “OSUD” (FATE)
Sosnoff Theater
Wednesday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m. (preview)
Friday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. (premiere)
Sunday, July 27 at 4:00 p.m.
Friday, August 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 2 at 8:00 p.m.
The American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor
JoAnne Akalaitis, director
Frank Gehry, scenic designer
John Conklin, associate scenic designer
Kaye Voyce, costume designer
Jennifer Tipton, lighting designer
 
CZECH FILM FESTIVAL
Sosnoff Theater
 
Thursday, July 24 at 7:00 p.m.
The Joke (1968)
Based on the novel by Milan Kundera
Written by Zdeněk Bláha and Jaromil Jires
Directed by Jaromil Jires
Starring Josef Sommer, Jana Dítĕtová, Jaromír Hanzlik, Vĕra K
řesadlová, and Ludĕk Munzar
 
Saturday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m.
The Lion With a White Mane (1986)
A fictional treatment of the life of Leos Janáček
Written by Jiří Blažek and Jaromil Jires
Directed by Jaromil Jires
On the Winding Path (1987)
Documentary on Ja
náček with interviews and music
Directed by Jaromil Jires
Starring Ludĕk Munzar
 
Thursday, July 31 at 7:00 p.m.
A Ballad for a Bandit (1978)
Directed by Vladimír Sís
Starring violinist/singer Iva Bittová
Diary of One Who Vanished
Directed by Jaromil Jires
Music by Leos Janáček
Starring Iva Bittová
 
Sunday, August 3 at 4:00 p.m.
Year of the Devil (2002)
Winner, Gran Prix Crystal Globe, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, 2002
Written and directed by Petr Zelenka
Starring Jaromír Nohavica, Karel Plí
hal, Jan Prent, Jaz Coleman, and Čechomor
 
WORLD PREMIERE OF "DON JUAN IN PRAGUE"
(in Italian and English)
LUMA Theater
Wednesday, July 30 at 8:00 p.m. (premiere)
Thursday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 2 at 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Based on Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Featuring Iva Bittová
Adapted and directed by David Chambers
Music adaptations by Matthew Suttor
David Levi, music director
Darcy Scanlin, scenic designer
Chris Parry, lighting designer
Paul LaBarbera, sound designer
 
MOSCOW NEW GENERATION THEATRE
K.I. From "Crime"
(American Premiere)
(in Russian, with synopsis in English)
Resnick Theater Studio
Wednesday, August 6 at 8:00 p.m. (premiere)
Friday, August 8 at 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 9 at 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Adapted by Daniil Gink from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment
Directed and designed by Kama Ginkas
 
The Storm
, (American Premiere)
(in Russian, with English surtitles)
LUMA Theater
Thursday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. (premiere)
Friday, August 8 at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 9 at 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Written by Alexander Ostrovsky
Directed by Henrietta Yanovskaya
Sergei Barkhin, set and costume designer
Tatiana Bronnikova, lighting designer
 
DRAK THEATER
The Cunning Little Vixen
by Leos Janáček
(puppet theater; performance synopsis in English)
Dance Studio
Wednesday, August 13 at 12:00 noon
Thursday, August 14 at 12:00 noon
Friday, August 15 at 12:00 noon
Saturday, August 16 at 12:00 noon and 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 17 at 12:00 noon
 
NIGHTSCAPE
Dance Studio
Saturday, July 26 at 10:30 p.m.
Singer Iva Bittová performs selections of classical, jazz, and Moravian folk music.
Saturday, August 2 at 10:30 p.m.
Ethel, the hip NYC string quartet
Saturday, August 9 at 10:30 p.m.
The Moscow New Generation Theater production of K.I. from "Crime"
Directed by Kama Ginkas
Saturday, August 16 at 10:30 p.m.
The Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janáček
A one-hour performance by the DRAK theater.
 
BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL
Janáček and His World
Friday, August 8
Concert: Leos Janáček: An Introduction
Sosnoff Theater
8:00 p.m. Preconcert Talk: Leon Botstein
8:30 p.m. Performance
Leos Janáček
In the Mists
Two Moravian Dances
Kantor Halfar
Maryčka Magdónova
The 70,000,
Concertino
String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters"
Performers: Casal String Quartet; Anton Nel, piano; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, music director; Bard Festival Chamber Players
 
Saturday, August 9
Panel: Janáček: Biographical Issues
Olin Hall
10:00 a.m.
 
Concert: Coming of Age as a Composer
Olin Hall
1:00 p.m. Preconcert Talk: Robert Martin
1:30 p.m. Performance
Pavel Křížkovsky´
Sv. Cyrill a Methoděj
Anton Rubinstein
Three Pieces, for violin and piano, Op. 11, No. 1
Bedrich Smetana
Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 15
Leos Janáček
Elegy on the Death of My Daughter Olga
The Wild Duck
Orání [Ploughing]
Nase Píseń [Our song]
Dumka, for violin and piano
Antonín Dvorák
String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 51
Performers: Casal String Quartet; Claremont Trio; Melvin Chen, piano; Karen Gomyo, violin; William Wolfram, piano; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, music director
 
Concert: Music and Storytelling
Sosnoff Theater
7:30 p.m. Preconcert Talk:
8:00 p.m. Performance
 
Saturday, August 9, con’t.
Leos Janáček
Ballada blanická [The Ballad of Blaník], symphonic poem after J. Vrchlický
Excerpts from The Excursions of Mr. Brouček and The Cunning Little Vixen
Žárlivost [Jealousy]
Taras Bulba, rhapsody after N.V. Gogol
Zdenĕk Fibich
Stědry´ den [Christmas Day]
Bedrich Smetana
Sárka, symphonic poem
Antonín Dvorák
The Noon Witch, symphonic poem, Op. 108
Performers: Bard Festival Choral, James Bagwell, music director; American Symphony Orchestra; Leon Botstein, conductor; others TBA
 
Sunday, August 10
 
Panel: Janáček’s as Theorist: Language and Culture
Olin Hall
10:00 a.m.
 
Concert: The Music of Language and Fantasy
Olin Hall
1:30 p.m. Performance with commentary by Michael Beckerman
Leos Janáček
Po zarostlém chodníčku [On the overgrown path], Set 1
Pohádka [Fairy tale], for cello and piano
Presto, for cello and piano
Folksong arrangements
Řikadla [Nursery rhymes]
Performers: Melvin Chen, piano; Jeremy Denk, piano; Sophie Shao, cello; Bard Festival Chamber Players; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, music director; others TBA
 
Concert: Contemporary Insiders
Sosnoff Theater
4:30 p.m. Preconcert Talk: Brian Locke
5:00 p.m. Performance
Leos Janáček
Piano Sonata 1.X.1905 (From the Street 1 October 1905)
Sonata for violin and piano
Josef Suk
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 31
Songs by
Josef Bohuslav Foerster and Jaroslav Křička
Vítĕzslav Novák
Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 27, "Quasi una ballata"
Performers: Casal String Quartet; Claremont Trio; Jeremy Denk, piano; Karen Gomyo, violin; Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano; William Wolfram, piano
 
Friday, August 15
 
Symposium: Janáček’s World: Between Modernism and Nationalism
Olin Hall
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
 
Concert: Folklore from the Field to the Parlor
Sosnoff Theater
8:00 p.m.
Performance with commentary by Michael Beckerman
Janáček was one of the first real composer ethnographers (Bartók, the most famous one, came almost two decades later). He collected folksongs, analyzed and discussed them, and arranged them for piano. This concert will present a cross-section of that activity featuring Czech performers who will try to recreate the sounds Janáček heard in the field. This will be juxtaposed with Janáček’s "parlor" arrangements of several of these songs.
 
Saturday, August 16
Panel: Janáček and the Mainstream
Olin Hall
10:00 a.m.
 
Concert: Czech Modernism
Olin Hall
1:00 p.m. Preconcert Talk: Derek Katz
1:30 p.m. Performance
Leos Janáček
Mládí, suite for wind sextet
March of the Bluebirds
String Quartet No. 1 after Tolstoy’s "Kreutzer Sonata"
Otakar Ostrčil
From Symfonietta, Op. 20
Songs by
Max Brod and Ladislav Vycpálek
Bohuslav Martinů
String Quartet No. 2, H150
Pavel Haas
Wind Quintet, Op. 10
Performers: Avalon Quartet; Bard Festival Chamber Players; Curiously Strong Winds; others TBA
 
Concert: The Diary of One Who Vanished by Leos
Janáček
LUMA Theater
4:30 p.m. Preconcert Talk: Derek Katz
5:00 p.m. Performance: Ken Noda, piano; Robin Guarino, director; Aaron Black, lighting design
Others TBA; Text: O. Kalda

Concert: The Symphonic Imagination
Sosnoff Theater
7:30 p.m. Preconcert Talk: Christopher H. Gibbs
8:00 p.m. Performance
Joseph Suk
Fantastické scherzo, Op. 25
Vitĕzslav Novák
O vĕčné touze [Eternal longing], op. 33
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Voyevoda, Op. 78, symphonic ballad
Leos Janáček
Sumařovo dítě [The fiddler’s child]
Sinfonietta
Performers: American Symphony Orchestra; Leon Botstein, conductor

Concert: The Diary of One Who Vanished by Leos
Janáček
LUMA Theater
10:00 a.m. Preconcert Panel
11:30 a.m. Performance

Sunday, August 17
 
Concert: International Modernism
Olin Hall
1:00 p.m. Preconcert Talk
1:30 p.m. Performance
Igor Stravinsky
Octet for Wind Instruments
Paul Hindemith
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 16
Béla Bartók
String Quartet No. 3, Sz 85
Karol Szymanowski
Mity [Myths], for violin and piano
Leos
Janáček
Capriccio (‘Vzdor’ [Defiance])
Performers: Timothy Fain, violin; Anton Nel, piano;
Anna Polansky, piano; Bard Festival Chamber Players, Eckart Preu, conductor; Bard Festival String Quartet
 
Concert: Speech and Music: The Pan-slavonic Context
Sosnoff Theater
4:30 p.m. Preconcert Talk
5:00 p.m. Performance
Modest Musorgsky
Porazheniye Sennakheriba [The Destruction of Sennacherib]
"Galitzen's Journey," from Kovanshchina
Karol Szymanowski
Stabat mater, Op. 53
Leos Janáček
Na Soláni čartak [The Čartak Inn on Solán Mountain]
Hospodine [Lord, have mercy]
Glagolitic Mass [Msa glagolskaja]
Performance: Turid Karlsen, soprano; Michael Hendrick, tenor; Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano; American Symphony Orchestra; Leon Botstein, conductor; New York Virtuoso Singers, Harold Rosenbaum, music director; others TBA

Website: http://fishercenter.bard.edu

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This event was last updated on 07-06-2005