On the occasion of World TB Day and the 150 years of
U.S. premiere of
"Chopin and The Nightingale"
Dramatic reading with music: Chopin and Jenny Lind's
romance in the
words of Chopin and Hans Christian Andersen.
The U.S. premiere of “Chopin and The Nightingale” -
a dramatic reading with music in six acts for
narrator, two sopranos and piano - took place at the Marcella Sembrich Opera
Museum, Bolton Landing, Lake George, New York
State on 25 and 27 July 2008.
Romance: The drama chronicles the newly-discovered romance of the ailing Chopin and the
celebrated Jenny Lind,
The Swedish Nightingale, in 1848-1849.
unfolds using quotes from
Chopin's letters to family and friends. They mirror to
a surprising degree quotes taken from Hans Christian Andersen's
Nightingale, a tale he wrote in 1843 as a tribute to Jenny Lind.
Music: Chopin, Bellini and Meyerbeer and two Scandinavian
Program with research notes |
The Swedish Nightingale
She wrote to Andersen in 1871: "I would have been
happy to die for this my first and last, deepest, purest
Production: Rosemary Andress directed
the U.S. premiere of this
innovative art form, assisted by Lindsey Gates and
Chris Fitzgerald of the Lake George Theater Lab.
Richard Wargo, artistic director of the Marcella Sembrich Memorial
Association and curator of the Museum, and Icons of Europe facilitated
The premiere was set in the summer-long The Maiden’s Wish:
A Festival of Chopin, which commemorated the 150-year anniversary of Polish soprano and
MET star Marcella Sembrich.
Playwrights: Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen, based on
The drama has been performed at Brussels, Warsaw
and Toronto to celebrate the new Europe and transatlantic
relations, and to signal the importance of the WHO-managed
World TB Day. The biography is
endorsed by leading Chopin experts and the Director-General of WHO.
the context of
World TB Day
the U.S. premiere benefited the
Icons of Europe TB Fund.
Chopin suffered from tuberculosis. When Jenny
Lind sang for him in 1848-1849, he felt better. Jenny Lind
performed at a charity concert at Her Majesty's Theatre in
London for the benefit of the Brompton Hospital for
Consumption and Diseases of the Chest on 31 July 1848.
"We believe that great culture captures the imagination and
stimulates a discussion of an important societal issue such
as the re-emergence
of TB as a massive global challenge in the 21st century", says Jens A. Jorgensen,
president of Icons of Europe.
Premiere listed by WHO:
Stop TB News April 2008.
"... the drama brings out the
seamlessness of great European culture"
PREMIERE, 6 APRIL 2004
H.E. Mr Charles Crawford, British Ambassador to Poland,
wrote to the Foreign Office in London about the drama:
"It ingeniously brought together historical and musical
elements from all over Europe ... to bring out the
seamlessness of great European culture."
Act V* >>
|* ACT V:
Megan Weston, in her role as Jenny Lind, sings and
accompanies herself in Ah non credea (Amina), the Finale
of the last act of Bellini's opera La Sonnambula at
Chopin's deathbed. The original score says, "... as sung by
Mademoiselle Lind on the Stage and subsequently at her
Benjamin Lumley, director
of Her Majesty's Theatre in 1847-1849, writes in 1864: "Whilst
Jenny Lind was in Paris [in 1849] ... she sat down to the
piano and gave her incomparable
Non Credea Mirarti."
BEAUTIFUL REGION FOR A HOLIDAY
Lake George is situated in a beautiful region west of Vermont.
New York City and
Montreal, and closer to
Boston than to
International Airport is located 100 km south of
Find Lake George on this
(search: United States / Bolton Landing).
View from the Opera Museum.
The Adirondack Mountains
shelter Lake George.
"The placid hydrangea bay, frequented by
herons and ducks, is on the
beautiful approach to the Opera Museum
on Sembrich Point."
The museum is listed at the
National Register of Historic Places.
GREAT CULTURE FOR NEW INSIGHT AND