A PROUST SONATA (2016)
Enter the creative world of Marcel Proust’s literary masterpiece and the music, paintings and people that inspired it.
Sarah Rothenberg’s A Proust Sonata is inspired by Marcel Proust’s early 20th century masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, and the author’s final reclusive years when he withdrew from French society to complete his seven volume magnum opus. Rothenberg interweaves text, music and image, evoking the fashionable world of belle epoque salons, Proust’s brilliant insights on art and music, and the connection between memory and the passage of time captured so eloquently in Proust’s great work .
Celebrated Obie-Award winning actor Henry Stram, as the Narrator, brings Proust’s prose to life on stage. Solo piano works, French art song, and Fauré’s sonata for violin and piano are performed within seven tableaux based on sections of the great novel. The abstract set, designed by Marina Draghici, creates multiple surfaces for projections created from paintings, photography and Proust’s manuscripts in this multimedia, interdisciplinary performance.
A concert of text, a theatrical presentation of music, A Proust Sonata merges art forms in order to illuminate a central theme of Proust’s novel – how art can triumph over time.
A Proust Sonata: 7 tableaux en musique
Works of Fauré, Debussy, Chopin, Ravel, Leon Delafosse, Reynaldo Hahn and Beethoven. Texts from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Celeste Albaret’s memoir, Monsieur Proust.
February 2016, Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, Houston. A Da Camera of Houston production.
New York Premiere: January 10-12, 2018
Florence Gould Hall of FIAF
World premiere: February 11, 2016
Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center
Conceived, written and directed by Sarah Rothenberg
Lighting design: Jennifer Tipton
Scenic and costume design: Marina Draghici
Projection design: Hannah Wasileski
Sound design: Bart Fasbender
Narrator: Henry Stram
Celeste/Francoise: Nancy Hume
Tenor: Nicholas Phan
Violinist: Boson Mo
Pianist: Sarah Rothenberg
String quartet: Jackson Guillen, violin; Jae-Won Bang, violin; Jill Valentine, viola; Sonya Matoussova, cello
Performance Excerpt II
Classical Voice North America — “Its seven tableaux/movements echoing Remembrance’s seven volumes, A Proust Sonata is a dreamily evocative mood piece.” Read the full review
Parterre — “A highly original theater piece making use of contemporary sounds and sights (and modern technology) to summarize the vast masterpiece… Miss Rothenberg, at her piano, and her well-chosen collaborators, have created [an] uncategorizable and delectable event.” Read the full review
Voce Di Meche — “[a] stunning gesamtkunstwerk… How impressed we are by scholarship translated into entertainment!” Read the full review
Concertonet.com — “Ms. Rothenberg offers here a sensuous, sometimes ravishing conception of acting, music, immaculate videos and a corporeal picture of the artist in multiple guises… [an] epic creation.” Read the full review