Friday, June 10, 2005

Preparing for Shadowtime

A web-site and a libretto are now available to help prepare viewers, listeners, and imaginers for the British and American premieres -- on July 9, 2005 (in London) and on July 21 and 22, 2005 (at Lincoln Center, in New York City) -- of Brian Ferneyhough's new music-theater piece, in seven scenes, based upon the writings and life of philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) , which was premiered at the Munich Biennale in May 2004. The libretto to the work is by poet Charles Bernstein.

Mssrs Ferneyhough and Bernstein will be in attendance at a Symposium, moderated by Joel Sachs, at Lincoln Center on July 18, prior to the American premiere (and only scheduled North American performance). Librettist Charles Bernstein will, himself, be moderating an additional Symposium, on July 20, on the subject "Why Benjamin Now?", which features Marjorie Perloff and Jean-Michel Rabate.

The web-site for these premieres is at:

Tess Crebbin, in Music and Vision, has written, "Bernstein's libretto, plain and simple, is the finest contemporary libretto that I know of."

Charles Bernstein's libretto for "Shadowtime" is available from Green Integer at:

Brian Ferneyhough's thoughts, on Music and Words, is available at The Argotist:

Charles Bernstein's interview, with Eric Denut, is also available at The Argotist:

Charles Bernstein, and his wife Susan Bee's, collaboration on the image "Verdi and Post-modernism", part of the limited edition book "Little Orphan Anagram", published by Granary Books (1997), is available at:

Readers may also wish to consult Luc Bondy's libretto to Peter Ruzicka's opera "[Paul] Celan" [Dresden 2001], and Peter Zinovieff's libretto to Sir Harrison Birtwistle's "The Mask of Orpheus" [London, 1986].

-- Garth Trinkl


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