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|A Musical Dramatization of The Love Story of Robert and Clara Schumann|
|TWIN SPIRITS ROBERT SCHUMANN DISCOGRAPHY CLARA SCHUMANN DISCOGRAPHY TIMELINE|
rock 'n roller Sting doing onstage at the Royal Opera House/Covent
Garden? Not his natural milieu to be sure, but on this occasion, he
really did belong there, having been conscripted to play the part
of the great composer Robert Schumann - not as singer but as actor
of the spoken word, reading Schumann's love letters against the background
of his sublime music played by a specially selected chamber music
ensemble. It is an unlikely but inspired choice in this day and age
for this unique dramatization of classical music's most enduring real-life
love story. That it is Sting's name that lighted up the "marquees,"
so to speak, which announced (e.g. "STING PERFORMS SCHUMANN")
both the original performance and the DVD
recording of this quite original multi-genre creation
of stage director/writer John Caird's imagination suggests the likely
reason behind Sting's selection - to draw audiences outside the traditional
boundaries of classical music, who could someday become Schumann devotees
or at the very least develop a favorable disposition toward the genre.
Twin Sprits was first performed in June 2005 at the Royal Opera House. Other performances have since taken place at Salisbury Cathedral (to benefit the Salisbury Cathedral Girl Choristers), the New Victory Theatre in New York (to benefit Broadway Cares – Equity Fights Aids) and, at the Prince of Wales’ invitation, Windsor Castle (to benefit the Royal Opera House Foundation, and Soil Association). Among other performers who have participated alongside Sting and Trudie are actors Sir Ian McKellen, Charles Dance, and Jonathan Pryce and violinists Vasko Vassilev and Joshua Bell.
Twin Spirits, the DVD, was recorded before a small audience in a studio space at the Royal Opera House shortly before Christmas 2007. All the artists involved donated their talent and time so that everyone buying a copy will be supporting the important work of the Royal Opera House Education Program which provides opportunities for some 90,000 people annually to engage with opera, music and dance. The Program has a significant social impact, reaching people of all ages and backgrounds- including the isolated and elderly, the socially deprived, disabled adults and children, and young offenders, helping them to become enthusiastic and motivated, learn self-respect, discover the potential within themselves and develop a team spirit, and fulfilling a vital part of the Royal Opera House’s mission.
This is a fascinating, innovative production for which John Caird deserves the highest commendation. The 2-disc DVD set (including a bonus disc of cast interviews and informational material) is a MUST SEE / MUST HAVE for lovers of Schumann's music; and for those who have little or no acquaintance with the Schumanns--or classical music for that matter--this musical dramatization of the Schumanns' moving personal journey is a most engaging introduction. - � GCajipe / FanFaire
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