June 7, 2017

Emerson String Quartet to Premiere The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy

On Saturday, June 17 at 8 PM, the world renowned Emerson String Quartet is joined with a cast of seven actors for the world premiere of Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy at the Detroit Film Theatre, as part of the Black Monk Festival organized by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and The Wayne State University Russian Program.  “This is by far the most ambitious artistic project that the Festival has ever undertaken,” said Maury Okun, President of the Great Lakes Chamber music Festival.  Co-commissioned by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival and Princeton University Concerts, Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy comes from the minds of acclaimed writer-director, James Glossman, and Emerson String Quartet member, Philip Setzer.

In a bold intersection of chamber music and theater starring Len Cariou and Jay O. Sanders with the Emerson String Quartet, witness the trials and redemption of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 50-year obsessive quest to create an opera based on Anton Chekhov’s mystical tale: The Black Monk.  The new theatrical work, Shostakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy, is a masterpiece about love, art, madness and freedom.  With the stroke of a pen, the Soviet regime undermined the career of one the most prominent composers of the 20th century.   “There’s something communicative in Shostakovich’s work and his music speaks to me in a way that almost no music does,” Setzer said.  Through Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 14, the Emerson Quartet joins seven actors and weaves the tale of Shostakovich’s obsessive quest, trying over decades to retell Chekhov’s haunting and heroic story of a writer struggling for his sanity, only to be sidetracked again and again by the composer’s own struggle to survive as an artist amid the ever-changing imperatives of Stalin’s Soviet state.

Saturday, June 17,2017 at 8 pm
DIA's Detroit Film Theatre
5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI

Created by Philip Setzer and James Glossman
Written and Directed by James Glossman
Musical Direction by Philip Setzer
Produced by Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival
Co-commissioned by:
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival
Princeton University Concerts
Tanglewood Music Festival

Len Cariou
(Shostakovich---Detroit and Princeton)
Jay O. Sanders (Stalin)
David Strathairn (Shostakovich---Tanglewood)
Ali Breneman
Evelyn McGee Colbert
Alex Glossman
Paul Murphy
Linda Setzer

Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker, violin
Philip Setzer, violin
Lawrence Dutton, viola
Paul Watkins, cello

Tickets: $40, Reserved | $20, General Admission | $10, 35 and Under — Click here for more information

Addition Performance Dates:

Wednesday, July 19,2017 at 8 pm
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood Music Festival
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA 01240

Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Alexander Hall, Richardson Auditorium at the Princeton University
68 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08544