August 5, 1998 | Banff Centre
Zürich 1916
Composer:Christopher Butterfield
Librettist:John Bentley Mays
Synopsis
"This music drama is not history, nor even about something that happened once. It is full of subterfuges and evasions, itching powder, stink bombs, paraphrases, and booby traps. It is music as literature, as painting, as architecture; music that takes the side of contamination and impurity, refusing to discriminate. It is music that has a hard time remembering when it is and where it is. Neither the music nor the play itself is about self-expression. It is about the coincidences of life, the discovery, through art, of what is happening now. It is what is happening now, here—to the composer and librettist, the singers and dancers, choreographers and producers and beholders. It is what is happening to any soul who seeks to dwell creatively, in liberty and mercy, on the troubled ground of our century's ending."
—John Mays

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)
02:00

Number of Acts
2

Musical Style
Contemporary music theater

Vocal & Musical Forces
Singers: 9 (2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, contralto, 2 tenors, bass, male soprano); dancers: 6. Orchestra: 17

Original Cast
Stacie Robinson (The Chanteuse Emmy Hennings)
Michael Colvin (The Artist Hugo Ball and The Artist Vladimir Mayakovsky)
Lori Klassen (Another singer and Dancer Alice More)
Shaunaid Arnette (Miss Ranovalla of Singapore the Negro Giantess)
Tracey Scher (Mrs. Koreitsky the Tattooed Lady)
Nanette Canfield (The Demoiselle Marie On Her Ponies and Tsarina)
Eric Shaw (Stromboli the Human Torch, Thomas Edison, and Tsarevitch)
Daniel May (The Amazing Onzali and Joseph Stalin)
Michael Maniaci (V.I. Lenin)
Darren Bonin (The Dandy Tristan Tzara)
Nicholas Coulter (The Drummer Richard Huelsenbeck)


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