A New Opera: Part I, The Color of Poison Berries
Clip: Premiere of Part 1, Color of Poison Berries, at the Chutzpah! Festival of the Performing Arts in Vancouver in February, 2012.
The journey of Chaim Skibelski, who has just been shot dead, and his Rabbi, who is now a crow, as they wander through Poland searching for an afterlife, lends itself easily to the genre of music-theater. Words, music and movement can be expressive of the edges of experience explored in the magical realism of this epic narrative, which contains wry humor, poetry, and a sharp sense of each character's perspective, even extending to the Polish family that has moved into the protagonist’s home, and the German soldier who has shot him.
‘the Painted Bird’ while at the same time surpassing it."
— The Washington Post
Based on the award-winning classic by Joseph Skibell, A Blessing on the Moon opened the prestigious international performing arts festival Chutzpah! in Vancouver, creating an opportunity to see the first two acts (of three) staged. This production in a beautiful theater in Vancouver provided the critical step toward creating a touring future for the work in theaters in the United States and abroad.
The performing ensemble includes an accomplished cast of singing actors drawn from New York's Broadway and Opera performing community, and the fiery Warsaw Village Band, from Poland. In keeping with the location and cultural milieu of the book, musical interludes for a wordless chorus are drawn from Polish folk roots. The band is known for their innovative interpretations of traditional Polish roots music. it includes three women’s voices, Polish violin, tsimbl (hammered dulcimer), and percussion.
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