Wednesday, February 15, 2012

RECENT performances

MUSE of FIRE is based on my experiences studying with the legendary Maestro Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine, and it is like no other. No other play ever written seeks to reveal the secrets of the conductor’s art—bringing to audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the real life (and vital artistry) of classical music’s great, silent partner.

I have performed MUSE more than fifty times now—from Chicago to Halifax and Baltimore to Boston. In 2011, I returned to tour Maine, where one evening I had the privilege of presenting MUSE at the Monteux School, on the very stage where many of the events depicted in the play took place, sixteen years—to the day—of Maestro Bruck’s death there in 1995.  The bas-relief of Bruck (pictured) now hangs near the stage in the Monteux Forest Studio, a important reminder of the man and his legacy.

The large audience at the Monteux included the entire student body of the school as well as many who knew Bruck during his heyday. It was a very emotional homecoming. Afterwards, the standing ovation, the tears, the cheers—were instantaneous. In response to the tour, the Portland Press Herald hailed MUSE of FIRE as “entertaining...and important.” High praise, indeed.

Another evening in Maine returned MUSE to the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, where Maestro Ken Kiesler, esteemed Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan, invited me to again share the play and its message with his international student body. Ken has invited me to the UofM campus for a performance there this spring. (For more about my visit to the Conductors Retreat, please click here.)

MUSE of FIRE also received its New York state debut last season, on the campus of SUNY—Fredonia, where the Fredonia Leader called it “a one-man epic,” and the president of the university labeled the performance “phenomenal.” A large and enthusiastic audience cheered the play (and more than one hundred stayed for a lengthy Q&A following the show.) Next up is a return to the midwest (with performances in the Detroit area and Ann Arbor in March), then back to the east coast for summer and fall run-outs later in 2012.

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