Abel Gance in New York (Working Title)
Composer: Eric Salzman
Librettist: François Godin
Premiere Date: Not available.
Description: 1921. The great French pioneer filmmaker Abel Gance is invited to New York by his American counterpart, D.W. Griffith. Just before Gance leaves for America, the love of his life, Ida Danis, dies of influenza at the age of 27. Gance arrives in New York in a state of shock and suffering; he is ill-prepared for the hustle and bustle of the New World, for Griffith's commercial propositions, and for the American girl, Helen Channing Pollock, who falls in love with him. Gance, struggling to be faithful to the memory of Ida and to his own suffering, imagines that he is the protagonist of a film about the myth of Orpheus, and he enters the underworld to find Ida and bring her back to life. But Hades is only the New York subway and Eurydice turns out to be not Ida, but Helen, who leads him into the bright lights and night life of the city; Ida's hold on Gance is loosened and he falls under Helen's spell. But, in the end, it is Helen who sees the impossibility of this love and who understands that she must give him up and let him go home alone to face his phantoms.
Character List (Major): Gance; Helen; Ida; D.W. Griffith; Georgette LeBlanc, a French opera singer; Geoffrey Wallace, Helen's cousin; Pierre Danis, Ida's brother
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: Not Available
Orchestration: Upright pf and sampler performed by the music director; str quartet; jazz/dance band (cl/sax, gtr/banjo, db, drums)
Musical Style: Contrasts in the libretto are emphasized in the musical score through traditional European techniques and elements from American popular music. The staging will make use of old and new technologies alongside traditional music-theater techniques to te
Contact: Chants Libres
E-mail Address: creation@chantslibres.org
Phone: 514-841-2642
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