FEBRUARY - MaRch 2012

HAMLET

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

 

In the News:

Joseph Papp, producer The Public Theater / New York Shakespeare Festival 1991
"I have been familiar with Mr. Kievman’s work since 1978, when I produced his brilliantly innovative musical work for the theater, WAKE UP, IT’S TIME TO GO TO BED! I feel that Mr. Kievman ranks among the foremost modern composers in his understanding of both the components of musical composition and in the particular demands of a theatrical music work. Mr. Kievman has the somewhat rare ability to translate the dramatic and emotional contexts of his works to his audience in a powerful and profound way musically. This strong combination of Mr. Kievman’s innovative technical abilities as a composer with his powerful emotional and dramatic sense make him an artist very worthy of consideration" 

Tim Smith, Sun-Sentinel, Sunday, April 1989 "But that won't stop Kievman from writing for the rest of the world. He spends part of each day composing the last scenes of HAMLET. He has promised Papp he'll finish the opera by April 23, Shakespeare's birthday. The premiere production is slated for next season in New York. Remarkably, Kievman is setting the original and problematic old English text to music. Though he has done a little condensing. It is essentially a complete, faithful HAMLET. But the music, with its often aggressive, rockish vocal writing and minimalist-flavored rhythmic pulses, and the staging, which will be wildly visual, might have startled the Danish prince." 

Knight Arts, "At Long Last, “HAMLET” Opera will get its Premiere Feb 2012

Miami New Times SoBe Arts' Hamlet: Iambic Pentameter Meets the Modern Day Opera Feb 2012

Blogging Shakespeare Embracing Shakespearian Conversation in a Digital Age Oct 2012

"Occasions (Bloody Thoughts)" (w/ subtitles) Preview from the workshop/staged concert version of "HAMLET Soundtheater/Opera" (Music & Libretto by Carson Kievman) at SoBe Arts' Little Stage Theater, Miami Beach, 2012. The final commission by legendary theatrical producer Joseph Papp for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival (1987-91) but never performed due to Papp's passing in 1991. [Note: For this workshop the singers were accompanied by digital piano and/or midi realization of a piano reduction instead of the original chamber orchestra score]

Watch more videos on our Vimeo.

Pulsing, provocative and multidimensional, this contemporary take on Shakespeare's classic drama was the final commission by legendary New York theatrical producer Joseph Papp and scheduled for performance 20 years ago for the New York Shakespeare Festival, but it remained unperformed due to Papp's tragic passing.

The first workshop of part of this work was produced at The Public Theater NYC in 1991. The complete opera was finally developed in a workshop produced by SoBe Arts in the Little Stage Theater, Miami Beach durring the 2011/12 season.

Music by Carson Kievman
Libretto by Carson Kievman (with Joseph Papp)

Based on The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare
 

CAST

Kenneth Mattice, baritone as Bank Examiner / Meagan Brus, soprano as Dandelion Woman /  Michael Douglas Jones, bass as Claudius/Ghost of Hamlet / Danielle Kraus, (mezzo) soprano as Gertrude / Jeffrey Wienand, baritone as Laertes / Richard Kassell, bass/baritone as Polonius/gravedigger / Justin John Moniz tenor as Horatio / David Schnell, tenor as Guildenstern/Osric / Enrique Estrada, bass-baritone as Rosencrantz/Player King / Jillian Staffiera, mezzo soprano as Player Queen / Kunya Rowley, tenor as Marcellus/2nd Clown / Enrique Coizeau, baritone as Captain/Gentleman / John Cabrali, baritone as Bernardo/Fortinbras

CREATIVE TEAM

Stage Director, Carson Kievman / Music Director, John Yaffe / Costume Design, Angelina Esposito / Lighting Design, Robert Perry / Pianist, Victoria Yueh-Yin Liao / Stage Manger, Melissa Futch / Rehearsal Pianist and Vocal Coach, Mary Adelyn Kauffman / Rehearsal Pianist and Vocal Coach, Robert Chumbley

"Valentine's Day (w/ subtitles) from the premiere of a semi-staged workshop of "HAMLET Soundtheater/Opera" (Music & Libretto by Carson Kievman) at SoBe Arts' Little Stage Theater, Miami Beach, 2012. Meagan Brus, Ophelia - Kenneth Mattice, Hamlet - Michael Douglas Jones. Claudius, Danielle Kraus, Gertrude - Jeffrey Wienand, Laertes - Kunya Rowley, Marcellus. The final commission by legendary theatrical producer Joseph Papp for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival (1987-91) [Note: For this workshop the singers were accompanied by digital piano and/or midi realization of a piano reduction instead of the original chamber orchestra score]

 
Hamlet’s solo monologues are poignantly emotive, the beautiful arioso writing dramatically powerful. The ghost scene is wonderfully eerie. A strong theatrical crescendo builds from the confrontation of Hamlet and Ophelia through the play within a play and Ophelia’s haunting mad scene. Indeed one of Kievman’s major accomplishments is turning the usually nondescript character of Ophelia into a strong dramatic persona. Horatio’s final Goodnight Sweet Prince is lyrically potent.

Kievman’s production effectively utilizes the entire space of the Little Stage Theater, aisles and entrances included. A well-drilled cast presented the score in its best light. Kenneth Mattice was a charismatic Hamlet, his fine lyric baritone spinning the often unaccompanied solos effortlessly. Unhinged from the onset, Mattice’s prince seemed doomed with every step and utterance. Megan Bruce nearly stole the show as Ophelia with her flawless coloratura and compelling portrait of emotional disintegration.
— ~South Florida Classical Review March 2012
 

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