In this particular program, the performance is part orchestra and part theatre.
In the mid-1970s, composer André Previn and playwright Tom Stoppard created a kind of “play with orchestra” titled “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” in which the orchestra serves as one of several characters. Toledo Symphony conductor Stefan Sanderling chose the piece, paired with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6, as the program for the orchestra’s application for Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music festival and, as a result, the symphony was rewarded with the prestigious Saturday night slot of the opening weekend.
This will be the premiere of the full-orchestration version of this piece at Carnegie and, surprisingly, in New York, so the theater and music worlds are abuzz.The University will be represented in both the theatrical piece and in the orchestra. A number of UT Music Department faculty members will perform with the symphony and, through the Glacity Theatre Collective, several faculty members from the Department of Theatre and Film will be part of the theatrical production.
Pete Cross, an alumnus of the Department of Theatre and Film, will play Alexander, whose imprisonment and potential release drives the plot. Directed by Cornel Gabara, UT assistant professor of theatre and Glacity Theatre Collective artistic director, with costumes and props by Holly Monsos, associate dean of the UT College of Visual and Performing Arts and executive director of the Glacity Theatre Collective, and lighting design by Donald Robert Fox, UT visiting assistant professor of theatre, the piece also will include video elements developed by UT film major Brendan Boettler.
Other members of the Glacity Theatre Collective, founded four years ago by area theater professionals and UT Theatre and Film Department faculty members, also will perform. Dave DeChristopher, UT instructor, will play Ivanov; Dr. Benjamin Pryor, UT dean of the College of Innovative Learning and assistant vice provost, will be the doctor; Pamela Tomassetti will be the teacher; Kevin Hayes, managing director of the collective, will be the colonel; and Yazan “Zack” Safadi will make his second appearance with the collective as Sasha.
UT Department of Music faculty members who will play with the symphony are instructors Thaddeus Archer, trumpet; Amy Chang, cello; Daniel Harris, trombone; Nancy Lendrim, harp; Kim Loch, oboe; Dr. Alice Petersen, viola; Al Taplin, horn; Joel Tse, flute; Joan Weiler, bassoon; and Tim Zeithamel, viola.
“Excellence is alive and well in the College of Visual and Performing Arts,” said Debra Davis, founding dean of the college. “The human condition is the very essence of Stoppard’s ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.’ We are very proud of the creative contributions of our faculty, students and alums to the Carnegie Hall production and performance. This is an outstanding effort on the part of these individuals, and we wish them the best on their debut: Break a leg.”
Ticket information is available on the Toledo Symphony Orchestra website at www.toledosymphony.com.