Encompass Mainstage Production 2008:
June 19 – 22, 2008
In association with Opera Index
Fully Staged Performances with Orchestra
Composer Philip Hagemann teams up with George Bernard Shaw in two of his most fascinating looks at literary inspiration and passion.
Mara Waldman will conduct and
Nancy Rhodes will direct.
Set designer Charles Townsend Wittreich, Jr.; Costume designer A. Christina Giannini and Lighting designer Christopher Creevy.
The Dark Lady
of the Sonnets
Who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays?*
In this historical comedy
Shaw solves the mystery!
George Bernard Shaw, having once stated that he
“wanted to dig up Shakespeare’s bones,
so that he could throw rocks at them,”
in THE DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS, uses
Elizabeth I (Hai-Ting Chinn)
Shakespeare (Matthew Pena)
And the Dark Lady (Deborah Lifton)
As a romantic threesome to prod the monarchy
to create a National Theatre.
Perchance, the Anglophile purist
Will find the piece more
Hysterical than Historical!
*The Beefeater (Andrew Cummings) helps.
How many clues can you find?
or The Fatal Gazogene
Husband (Ross Benoliel) poisons
Wife’s Lover (Luke Grooms)
Wife (Deborah Lifton) repents
Husband administers antidote
The Butler (Justin Sherwood) spies
The Maid (Darcy Dunn) cries
The Landlord (Andrew Cummings) sighs
The Doctor (Matthew Pena) arrives and
The Police (Dominic Inferrera) investigates
Where is the body?
And what did Bill Bailey really do
With a fine tooth comb?
Not for the faint of heart
You may die laughing!!
The Zany Spirit of Shaw, Adapted Into Operas
By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Published: June 21, 2008
George Bernard Shaw wrote his short, fanciful play “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” for a performance in 1910 in support of establishing a national theater to honor Shakespeare. Here Shaw puts a royal twist into the mystery surrounding these love poems: To whom were they directed? In another short work, “Passion, Poison and Petrifaction, or the Fatal Gazogene,” Shaw gleefully skewers the murderous mayhem and convoluted plot turns of Shakespearean drama.
The composer Philip Hagemann saw operatic potential in these two inventive comedies. He adapted librettos from Shaw’s texts and combined them into an evening of one-act operas, “Shaw Sings!” The adventurous Encompass New Opera Theater presented the New York premiere of “Shaw Sings!” on Thursday night at Symphony Space. The simple, colorful production, directed by Nancy Rhodes and conducted by Mara Waldman, played to a nearly full house.