The National Operetta Theatre “Ion Dacian”
“A Medley of Sondheim“ — a special concert tribute performance
Featuring Broadway star performers Joan Almedilla, Ali Ewoldt,
Angel Desai, Jose Llana and Orville Mendoza
“Sondheim and After” — a listening party & lecture by Randy Gener
Tuesday, 17th of November 2011
within the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts
“Life is Beautiful”
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — Continuing the success gained in 2010 of the international collaboration between New York producer Randy Gener and the National Operetta Theatre “Ion Dacian”, Romania celebrates Broadway composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim with a special concert performance, entitled A Medley of Sondheim, and a conference, entitled Sondheim And After: A Listening Party on America’s Greatest Living Composer, within the framework of the 4th edition of the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts “Life is Beautiful” in Bucharest.
This festival is unique in Romania, organized by the National Operetta Theatre “Ion Dacian,” a public cultural institution funded by that country’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The fourth edition of the festival takes place November 10 to 20, 2011 in several locations in Bucharest. The diversified program includes musicals, operetta performances; ballets; concerts of international artists like The Tiger Lillies, Emma Shaplin (France), Richard Galliano (Italy), Ornella Vanoni (Italy); workshops for children; book launches; exhibitions and conferences, performed and presented by Romanian and foreign artists from more than 10 countries around the world.
“A MEDLEY OF SONDHEIM” — A CONCERT TRIBUTE PERFORMANCE:
Performing 7PM on November 17th at the Metropolis Theater in Bucharest, A Medley of Sondheim is a concert tribute performance devoted to iconic musicals of Stephen Sondheim. This sexy Sondheim celebration features an impressive cast of Broadway’s top musical talents and Sondheim specialists, all of whom have made their marks on Broadway in leading roles:
Joan Almedilla (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables);
Angel Desai (Sondheim’s Company);
Ali Ewoldt (Les Miserables, West Side Story);
Jose Llana (The King & I, Spelling Bee, The Flower Drum Song, Wonderland); and
Orville Mendoza (Pacific Overtures, Sondheim's Road Show, The Romance of Magno Rubio in Romania).
With Jose Llana serving as director, this ensemble of five Broadway stars will perform a repertoire that includes songs from Sondheim’s iconic musicals such as Anyone Can Whistle, Company, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Road Show, among others.
Specially produced by Randy Gener for the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts, A Medley of Sondheim is a Broadway showcase based on (and independent from) an original idea for a gala concert by director Victor Lirio at the prestigious Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York.
“SONDHEIM AND AFTER” — A LISTENING PARTY AND CONFERENCE:
Sondheim considers himself “a playwright in song.” How he arrived at this unique description is the subject of Sondheim And After: A Listening Party on America’s Greatest Living Composer, which will take place on the 17th of November 2011 at 4 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel in Bucharest. The conference is an intimate forum and listening party organized by Randy Gener, the renowned American editor, theater critic and artist.
Taking Sondheim’s own comments and music as a starting point, and joined by Broadway talents and Sondheim specialists from A Medley of Sondheim, Gener pulls aside the curtain on Sondheim’s creative universe to reveal the many influences that have established Sondheim as one of the greatest dramatic composers of the twentieth century. Gener will discuss also Sondheim’s impact on current developments of the musical performance genre within American and European cultural contexts.
“Sondheim styles himself as the maverick king of Broadway, the rebel genius who didn’t just write classic songs,” Gener states. “He fashioned modernist scores that took advantage of dissonance and urban angst about love, sex, family and marriage to challenge the mind, not soothe it. As Sondheim himself philosophizes, ’If you think of a theatre lyric as a short story, as I do, then every line has the weight of a paragraph.’ It is for this reason that Sondheim’s creative journey strives to reach the heights of a total dramaturgy within musical structures. For Sondheim, the art of writing smart lyrics rhymes with his restless search for dramatic and narrative truths.”
- In 2007, Gener led and presented “New Waves in Romanian Theatre,” featuring directors Radu Afrim and Gabor Tompa at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York.
- Gener wrote the introduction to roMANIA after 2000 (Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Press), the first-ever book anthology of new Romanian drama published in the USA.
- In 2008, Gener co-produced (with Alina Moldovan, Odeon Theatre and Ma-Yi Theatre Company of New York) the European premiere of the Obie Award-winning The Romance of Magno Rubio at Odeon Theatre and Sibiu International Theatre Festival.
- In 2009, Gener served as Series Editor of Saviana Stanescu: New York Plays, a play collection published by NoPassport Press. In 2010, Gener presented a conference, “Musical Theatre in the U.S.A.,” featuring Broadway performer Jose Llana and Broadway musical composer Michael John LaChiusa, as part of the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts “Life is Beautiful!”
|Gener and Michael John LaChiusa (right) with Romanian operetta stars in Bucharest|
Tickets are now on sale at the National Operetta Theatre "Ion Dacian" and online (www.opereta.ro), the sites www.eventim.ro and www.vandbilete.ro . For more information or to obtain press credentials, please contact us at the address madalina.matei @ opereta.ro or the number of phone 021/314.11.87.
The National Operetta Theatre “Ion Dacian”
One of the major goals of the International Festival for Musical Performing Arts “Life is Beautiful” is to contribute to the international cultural scene and to promote the Romanian culture and the musical performing arts from Romania abroad. Given the European Union integration, the National Operetta Theatre “Ion Dacian” has initiated a series of projects and partnerships in order to open its gates to European dialogue and cultural cooperation, promoting diversity and multiculturalism as well as the free circulation of artists and creation.
The artistic strategy of the festival consists of attracting valuable artists, perfecting and motivating the artists within the institution by choosing a repertoire that enhances their value, and artistically meeting the standards and requests of the international cultural markets in the field, given the Operetta’s major responsibility as an unique institution at a national level. The programs and projects that the Operetta develop, their diversity and heterogeneity are meant to transform an institution that has the responsibility to the only Romanian to the ambassador for this delicate and valuable field of artistic action, in an active participant on both national and international cultural scenes. The promotion of contemporary creation, of interdisciplinary modes and multiculturalism, of the free movement of values and promotion of eternal human values — these are the main directions of the festival’s artistic strategy.
ALBIN KONOPKA has enjoyed a long and successful international career. Besides his credits on numerous Broadway shows, he has performed in over 24 countries on 6 continents. He has worked as a producer, composer, musical director/supervisor, vocal and dance arranger and orchestrator. He has written two musicals: Ambra (in Italian) and She Schtups To Conquer. He is fluent in 5 languages and has a Masters from the Juilliard School of Music.