2010 – 2011 WordStage Season

High Tea With Noel And Cole

High Tea with Noel and ColeWordStage is honored to provide the entertainment for the third annual afternoon High Tea to benefit the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center. We offer the attendees of this elegant event a whirlwind tour of the lives and music of these two fast friends, sometime rivals, and geniuses of the British and American Musical Stage. Join WordStage Company members Daniel Bruce, Lisa Jablow, William Pelton and Tim Tavcar as they present a program of frothy favorites, wicked wittisms, and terrific tunes form there master of memorable melodies and High Society hijinks.

Please note – Advance reservations are REQUIRED for this event. Call 802-828-8743 for tickets and information.

 

Eccentricities of the Velvet Gentleman

Eric Satie

Eccentricities of the Velvet Gentleman-Eric SatieOnly decades after his death in 1925 was French composer Erik Satie hailed as a genius of contemporary classical music. His work was extremely simple in structure, yet innovative and marked by a characteristic wit. His reliance on unusual harmonic configurations was a reaction against the heavy, symbol-rich music of his era, a time when the works of Romantic European composers like Richard Wagner were still very much in vogue, and the highly decorated Impressionism of his friend, Claude Debussy, was ascendant. Satie left a relatively scarce body of work behind, most of it written for the piano. But his groundbreaking use of bitonal or polytonal elements would become a hallmark of twentieth-century modernist music.

Mentor and collaborator of the likes of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, and Serge Diaghilev, Satie’s music transcended the accepted norms of Romanticism and Impressionism of the time and influenced generations of French composers that followed. A prolific writer and cartoonist, Satie wrote fantastic diaries he titled Memoirs of an Amnesiac and was a regular contributor to such magazines as the Dadaist 351 and the publication that was, and continues to be, the arbiter of contemporary style and taste, Vanity Fair. It is from these sources the text of this WordStage presentation is derived.

The Musical Circle of John Singer Sargent

“Had he chosen to become a musician, he would have risen to eminence in one way or the other, in our Art.”

The Musical Circle of John Singer SargentThis was said by the composer Charles Loeffler of arguably the finest portrait painter of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, The very cosmopolitan American artist, John Singer Sargent. An accomplished pianist himself, Sargent often punctuated his studio sessions by playing the music of some of the composers who became friends and confidantes, throughout his prolific career. Brahms, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Charles Loeffler and Percy Grainger were all artistic intimates of Sargent’s, who used his personal wealth and position in High Society, especially in England and later in New England, to inspire their music and advance their careers.

This WordStage presentation is derived from Sargent’s own recollections of his life and work and observations of his musical colleagues which trace the development of an artistic mutual admiration society among its members.

This collaboration, by way of its warm and affectionate existence, proved to be a happy and lifelong marriage between the visual and performing arts throughout Europe and the Eastern United States.

Edgar Allan Poe Spooktakular!

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”  Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Edgar Allan Poe Spooktakular!Edgar Allan Poe was best known to his own generation as an editor and critic. His poems and short stories commanded only a small audience. But to some extent in his poems, and to an impressive degree in his tales, he pioneered in opening up areas of human experience for artistic treatment at which his contemporaries only hinted. Poe’s classic poem “The Raven” cemented his reputation as a black-feathered literary master of the macabre. His vision asserts that reality for the human being is essentially subterranean, contradictory to surface reality, and profoundly irrational in character. Two generations later he was hailed by the Symbolist movement, particularly in France through the translation of his works by the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, as the prophet of the modern sensibility.

This WordStage presentation will feature some of Poe’s most memorable Tales & Poems, including The Conqueror Worm, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart and, of course, The Raven, read by actors Michael Mauldin, Christine Sell and Tim Tavcar.

Poe’s phantasmagoric poetry and prose will be underscored and enhanced by properly eerie and atmospheric Pipe Organ Music, played on the West Shore Universalist Church’s 1963, 3 manual 33 rank Holtkamp organ played by Akron Organist, Accompanist of the Akron Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Music Director of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, Richard Shirey.