Monday, July 23, 2012

New York Musical Theatre Festival

Last week here in New York I had the good fortune to attend Requiem for a Lost Girl, a musical theatre piece with music by my friend Marcel Bergmann. Last January Marcel and I collaborated with Marcel's partner Elizabeth and visual artist Ronald Hurwitz on a production of my own multi-media piece The Art of Love for 2 pianos and actor at Merkin Hall. Requiem was a part of the
2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival.
So what was Requiem for a Lost Girl - originally produced in Calgary - about? A publicity blurb: "Exploring themes of of poverty, mental illness and addiction, this strikingly original chamber musical unfolds as a memorial service for a young woman. Requiem was created and is performed in partnership with a chorus of men, women and children who know the experience of homelessness..."

On the face of it, not too promising? Too depressing? Wrong! I was entertained and enthralled for 90 + minutes, not least by Marcel's music (He also served as conductor and keyboard player at the NY performance). A few particulars I would like to single out:

  • Marcel suited his music to the material. Sometimes gritty, sometimes poignant, sometimes rhythmic and driving, it always had a certain disciplined simplicity. 
  • There were 2 keyboards used in the chamber ensemble, a grand piano and a synthesizer. Marcel exploited the possibilities of this combination.
  • There was a choir, used at just the right moments.
So how does one get a production into the Festival and what does the Festival do for the production?
  • One submits a score and $75 and hopes for the best. There are many submissions.
  • The Festival "smooths out the bumps" of producing in NYC but doesn't actually financially support its productions.
Here are some useful links:
Give it a try. Do let me know if this blog has been useful.