LIEV SCHREIBER NARRATES THE ONLINE PREMIERE OF BEETHOVEN’S EGMONT, PERFORMED BY ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA AND SOPRANO KAREN SLACK
On Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 8:00 pm ET, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra presents Speaking Truth to Power, an online performance of Beethoven’s Egmont, Op. 84 featuring the world premiere of an incisive new Orpheus-commissioned English translation, adapted for the current day, by Philip Boehm. A rare performance of the full set of incidental pieces, the concert is narrated by celebrated actor Liev Schreiber with the soprano part sung by Karen Slack. The concert will be available for six days online in Idagio’s Global Concert Hall, part of Orpheus’ ongoing partnership with the streaming platform.
Karen Slack, an advocate for racial equity in the arts, joins legendary baritone Thomas Hampson in conversation on Thursday, October 8, 2020, at 1:00 pm ET, to preview the concert as part of his “Thursdays with Thomas” chat series on IDAGIO Live, streaming at idagio.com and on Facebook. Orpheus presents a Zoom Concert Preview with the Orpheus Artistic Directors, Executive Director Alexander Scheirle, and translator Philip Boehm on Thursday, October 15, 2020, at 6:00 pm ET and an Opening Night Gala honoring David Gill, Consul General of Germany, New York immediately prior to the concert at 7:00 pm ET on Zoom.
Beethoven, an unyielding critic of tyranny, channeled his rage into music for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Egmont, a 1787 historical drama about a local hero defying foreign occupiers. Philip Boehm – an award-winning American playwright, theater director, and literary translator – has created a powerful new translation of Goethe’s text ideal for the current social and political climate:
Many wish their rulers nothing but good will
While others hope the current state won’t last,
Many just abide the present, keeping still,
While in their hearts they’re yearning for the past.
He’ll face the Iron Duke, and will insist
that all existing rights must be respected,
and liberties once granted not dismissed.
Alexander Scheirle says, “I couldn’t be more excited about our upcoming production of Beethoven’s Incidental Music of Goethe’s drama Egmont. One of Beethoven’s masterworks, this work has yet to find its way into the major concert halls in the US and I believe that this new version will be worthy to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday this year. Especially in a time where concert halls are closed, it will be a magical moment for our musicians, and all the other family members of Orpheus. A spectacle not to be missed.”
Speaking Truth to Power marks the first time that Orpheus has performed together as a full chamber orchestra since January 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The concert was programmed as the orchestra’s season opening performance at Carnegie Hall, and has now transitioned to a pre-recorded virtual performance to ensure that the new Egmont translation could be shared with an even larger worldwide audience. Orpheus will record the concert at Beechwood Park in Hillsdale, New Jersey, following CDC guidelines of masking and social distancing, preceded by Covid-19 testing.
Orpheus has remained committed to its staff and musicians throughout the pandemic, retaining all staff and continuing to provide work for musicians. The orchestra’s numerous other activities during the pandemic have included virtual festivals, live streamed chamber performances, and socially distant outdoor small ensemble concerts.
Speaking Truth to Power
Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 8:00 pm ET – Thursday, October 22, 2020, at 11:59 pm ET
Digital Performance on Idagio Global Concert Hall
Tickets: $15 available at https://idag.io/GCH_OrpheusChamberOrchestra
More Information: https://orpheusnyc.org/tickets-and-concerts/speaking-truth-to-power
Beethoven (arr. Tarkmann) – Incidental Music from Egmont, Op. 84
Translated and Adapted by Philip Boehm
Liev Schreiber, narrator
Karen Slack, soprano
About Liev Schreiber
Heralded as “the finest American theater actor of his generation” by The New York Times, Liev Schreiber’s repertoire of resonant, humanistic and oftentimes gritty portrayals have garnered him praise in film, theatre and television.
Schreiber starred in the title role in Showtime’s critically-acclaimed hit series Ray Donovan. This powerful family drama centers on Ray as L.A.’s best professional fixer – the go-to guy in Hollywood who deftly solves the complicated, controversial and confidential problems of the city’s elite. Schreiber’s performance has garnered him five Golden Globe® Award nominations in the category of Best Actor in a Television Series Drama and three Primetime Emmy nominations as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He also directed the first episode of season four.
Schreiber will next be seen in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch opposite Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody and Timothée Chalamet, as well as Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Stephen Park, and Bill Murray.
Schreiber was last seen in Marc Meyers’ Human Capital alongside Alex Wolff. Based on Stephen Amidon’s novel of the same name, the film follows two families, one middle-class and one privileged, as their lives intertwine across the social divide. The dramatic thriller is produced through Schreiber and his production company Illuminated Content, with a screenplay by Oren Moverman.
Schreiber narrated Inside The Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes, a two-hour true crime special on Fox about Charles Manson and his loyal followers. He also voiced the character ‘Spots’, in Wes Anderson’s stop-motion-animated film Isle of Dogs. Last year, he was seen in IFC’s Chuck which he also co-produced and co-wrote. The bio-pic tells the story of Chuck Wepner, the liquor store salesman and heavyweight boxer who was given the opportunity to fight Muhammad Ali as an underdog and was the inspiration for the film, Rocky. The film also stars Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, and Elisabeth Moss.
In 2015, Schreiber was seen in Spotlight, an award-winning film about the true story of when The Boston Globe uncovered the scandal of child molestation within the Catholic Church. Schreiber played Marty Baron, the editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe who assigned the journalists to the task. The film won several awards including an Oscar for Best Picture, a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture. It was also listed on the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Films of 2015.
Schreiber’s many feature credits include Sony’s The 5th Wave; Ed Zwicks’ Pawn Sacrifice; The Good Lord Bird; Lee Daniels’ The Butler; Larry David’s Clear History; Fading Gigolo; The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Salt with Angelina Jolie; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Defiance with Daniel Craig; Repo Men; The Painted Veil; The Manchurian Candidate, opposite Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington; The Sum of All Fears; Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock; Kate & Leopold; Goon; Every Day; Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet; Spring Forward; The Hurricane; A Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane; The Daytrippers; Nora Ephron’s Mixed Nuts; and Wes Craven’s Scream trilogy.
His portrayal of Orson Welles in Benjamin Ross’ RKO 281 brought Schreiber Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award nominations. His other telefilm credits include George C. Wolfe’s Lackawanna Blues and John Erman’s The Sunshine Boys, opposite Woody Allen and Peter Falk. As one of the documentary medium’s foremost narrators, he has lent his voice to such works as Mantle, :03 from Gold; A City on Fire: The Story of the ‘68 Detroit Tigers; Nova; and Nature.
In 2010, Schreiber received his third Tony® nomination for his role in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge alongside Scarlett Johansson. His performance as Ricky Roma in the 2005 Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, directed by Joe Mantello, earned him his first Tony Award. He was again a Tony nominee for his portrayal of Barry Champlain in the 2007 Broadway revival of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio, directed by Robert Falls. Other stage work includes in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the lead role opposite Janet McTeer, the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Macbeth, in the lead role opposite Jennifer Ehle, directed by Moisés Kaufman; Othello; Hamlet; Henry V; and Cymbeline.
In 2005, Schreiber made his feature directorial debut with Everything is Illuminated, which he also adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling novel of the same name. The film, starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz, was named one of the year’s 10 Best by the National Board of Review. Schreiber currently serves on the Board of Advisors at the Yale School of Drama.
Arrangements for the appearance of Liev Schrieber made through Greater Talent Network, LLC., New York, NY
About Karen Slack
Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato, and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Most recently seen as Serena in Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera, and as Billie in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones with Opera Theater of St. Louis, Slack has also appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il Trovatore and Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Aïda at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, and made her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini’s Le Villi.The 2018-2019 season saw her as Tosca with Opera Birmingham, Addie Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Arizona Opera, Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Atlanta Opera, and Serena in Porgy and Bess with Fort Worth Opera. In concert she was a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Union Symphony Orchestra for Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder.
The 2019-2020 season also included a series of recitals throughout the US including the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Vail, Colorado with pianist Maestro Joe Illick. Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Slack has performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and the Verdi’s Requiem with various orchestras throughout the US. Abroad she has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with the St. Petersburg’s Philharmonic in celebration of the 80th birthday of Maestro Yuri Temirkanov. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with Orchestra St. Luke’s. Additional upcoming engagements for the 2020-2021 season include her debut with the Houston Grand Opera for the world premiere of Joel Thompson’s A Snowy Day, Poulenc’s La Voix Humane with Madison and Austin Opera, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall recital with Alan Morrison in the world premiere of a work by American composer Adolphus Halistork, Verdi’s Requiem with Highlander Concert Series at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Susan Kander’s Driving While Black for UrbanArias and a Wagner and Strauss concert with Omaha Opera and Symphony.
A graduate of the Adler Fellowship and Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera, the native Philadelphian is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She is a winner of numerous competitions and awards: most notably the Montserrat Caballé International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Award, Liederkranz Foundation Award and the Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice. Ms. Slack is creator and host of the highly successful Facebook live show called Kiki Konversations where she interviews singers, creatives and industry leaders, serves as Artistic Advisor for the Portland Opera and Co-Director of Opera for the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada for the 20/21 season. Learn more at www.sopranokarenslack.com.
About Philip Boehm
Philip Boehm is an American playwright, theater director, and literary translator. Born in Texas, he was educated at Wesleyan University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the State Academy of Theater in Warsaw, Poland. He has won various awards for his translations from Polish and German. Original works include Mixtitlan and Soul of a Cone.
About Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
In 1972, a group of young artists made history by creating an orchestra without a conductor in which musicians led themselves democratically. Since then, the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has recorded over 70 albums on all major classical labels, toured to 46 countries across four continents, and collaborated with hundreds of world-class soloists.
Orpheus’ 34 member musicians work together as a collective and rotate leadership roles for all works performed, giving flight to unconventional interpretations. This democratic structure also extends to organizational functions including programming and governance: the orchestra elects three members to Artistic Director positions and three to the Board of Trustees.
Orpheus’ 2020-21 season features collaborations with actor Liev Schreiber, soprano Karen Slack, guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, pianists Fazil Say and Angela Hewitt, and violinist Christian Tetzlaff.
An essential part of New York City’s cultural landscape, Orpheus presents annual series at Carnegie Hall and 92nd Street Y. Orpheus tours to major international venues and has appeared regularly in Japan for 30 years; recent engagements include the Prague Spring and Dresden Music Festivals and a 12-concert tour of Asia. The orchestra’s extensive discography includes a February 2019 release on Deutsche Grammophon of Mendelssohn concertos with pianist Jan Lisiecki. Champions of chamber orchestra repertoire, Orpheus has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works.
Orpheus shares its collaborative model through education and community engagement initiatives that promote equity and access to the arts for listeners of all ages around the world. These include programs for K-12 students, opportunities for emerging professional musicians, and a music and wellness program for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
For more information about Orpheus please visit www.OrpheusNYC.org or call 212-896-1700.
About IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall
IDAGIO is the leading streaming service for classical music, with more than 2 million app downloads and subscribers globally. IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall, launched in May 2020, is a new online concert venue available to audiences worldwide. Artists use this audiovisual platform to offer their own exclusive digital concerts, and audiences can support them directly from the comfort of their own homes with their ticket purchases. At IDAGIO, artists are empowered in their creative endeavors through a wide-reaching platform which allows them to connect with existing fans, and enabled to share music that is meaningful to them with a broader audience. Concerts are streamed live and are available online following the initial broadcast. An array of interactive features elevates the Global Concert Hall experience above existing options: artists offer personal introductions to their programs and remain online to chat directly with audience members in the Virtual Green Room, to answer questions and collectively reflect on the performance. The Global Concert Hall is the next evolutionary phase of IDAGIO’s Fair Artist Payout Model, to ensure that artists are properly compensated for their content.
Photo Credits: Liev Schreiber by Cédric Buchet. Karen Slack by Roni Griffith