Tuesday July 19, 2016
From The Philadelphia Inquirer
Stravinsky – in South Africa?
By: Peter Dobrin
The Mann Center is referring to the Firebird coming this Wednesday to its stage as the work’s North American premiere, but actually, it’s a world premiere. South African puppeteer Janni Younge unveiled the piece in South Africa a few weeks ago: a version of The Firebird for dancers and large puppets, reworked with a South African aesthetic. But that version used recorded music.
This week’s performance in Philadelphia uses the Philadelphia Orchestra playing live – not the suite, but the full-ballet version, which contains some gorgeous music rarely heard, so this will be the first time the work will be done with live orchestra.
What’s more, Ladysmith Black Mambazo takes the first part of the program, reinterpreting two of the folk melodies Stravinsky used in his piece (including the last, radiant melody introduced by that famous solo horn) for voices. And although this production goes to several other cities this summer, only Philadelphia will see/hear this version with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
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