The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156990   Message #3702405
Posted By: GUEST,CJB
17-Apr-15 - 06:26 AM
Thread Name: Perception: A Portrait of Tony Barrand
Subject: RE: Perception: A Portrait of Tony Barrand
Perception: "A Portrait of Tony Barrand- a cabaret opera with traditional dance" by Lawrence Siegel

Perception: "A Portrait of Tony Barrand" is a cabaret opera composed by Lawrence Siegel in honor of the renowned and much-beloved performer and scholar of English and Anglo-American song and dance traditions, Tony Barrand. This portrait, a story of Tony's life, set in a context of both traditional and original music and dance, will be the centerpiece of a pair of performances on May 23rd, 2015, in Brattleboro VT, celebrating Tony: bringing together his family, friends, and the wide community that considers him an inspiration. The piece highlights themes and memories from Tony's life - touching on his upbringing, his musical career, his scholarly perspectives, his partnership with his wife, and the illness Multiple Sclerosis, with which he has wrestled for much of his adult life. The libretto is adapted from Tony's own words, taken verbatim from interviews Larry conducted with Tony. This moving tribute will be presented along with a set of songs offered by friends of Tony's, and in tandem with the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Marlboro Morris Ale and local dance teams Tony founded. The evening is an opportunity to celebrate and honor Tony for his artistry and humor, for his unique gifts and accomplishments, for his 70th birthday, for the place he holds in our hearts, and for the grace and indomitable spirit with which he faces the increasingly debilitating effects of M.S. It is important and timely to gather in community with Tony and to celebrate.

Perception is a piece about a particular person: his story, his journey. That story exemplifies several themes of significance: the formative elements that lead a person to his or her path, how one leaves home and, sometimes, one's home country, the challenges of the life of the spirit inhabiting a body: the human condition, through the lens of a particular subject. A portrait, visual or musical, reveals the depths of its subject, and connects the person to the stories that resonate with a broad audience.

Perception uses Lawrence Siegel's signature Verbatim process. Over thirty years, the composer has created numerous music theater and concert pieces, including the highly regarded oratorio Kaddish, featuring the testimonies of survivors of the Holocaust. Perception, a half-hour in length, is about one person, yet it shares with the larger work interest in the resilience of the human spirit in the face of profound tragedy. The musical styles are many and varied: influenced by traditional music and also by styles more familiar to concert halls.

Perception will have two premiere performances in Brattleboro, VT, at the West Village Meeting House on Saturday evening, May 23, 2015, dove-tailing with the Marlboro Morris Ale which is celebrating its 40th anniversary the same weekend. Perception will bring together well-known performers from the traditional music community, John Roberts, Peter Amidon, Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy, Andy Davis and Fred Breunig - long-time friends of Barrand, acting as a chorus in the piece- and John Moore, a rising star of important opera stages around the world. Traditional dance forms that Barrand danced and taught will also be featured in the portrait. Each of the two one-hour evening performances will be in two acts: a prelude of songs in honor of Barrand offered by our all-star cast, followed by performance of Perception. Rehearsals are scheduled through April and May.

Our minimum fund-raising goal is $2,500, needed to cover the basic production costs: renting the venue, insurance, stage lighting, audio-visual recordings of performances for subsequent sale, publicity, and provisions for cast and crew on the day of the final dress rehearsal and two performances. In order to honor Tony Barrand, all of the performers and the composer have generously ignored any question of their payment. Our "stretch goal" is $7,000, which will support an appropriate level of payment for personnel. This is a non-profit endeavor. Any funds raised beyond our production needs will go to benefit Tony Barrand and his family directly, as a financial contribution toward ongoing exorbitant healthcare expenses (including a home health aide) as Tony lives with the burdens of MS. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated. We thank you, truly, for your generosity and for helping make this extraordinary evening a success!