My Life with Pablo Neruda / off Broadway
My Life with Pablo Neruda / off Broadway
A 4 week run off Broadway in April 2014 for My Life with Pablo Neruda, an original Pocket Opera-Cabaret
A 4 week run off Broadway in April 2014 for My Life with Pablo Neruda, an original Pocket Opera-Cabaret Read more
About this project
A 4 week run off Broadway in April 2014 for My Life with Pablo Neruda, a full evening, 4 act original “pocket opera-cabaret” for two actors, two singers, and a four person “orchestra.” The text is based on 100 Love Sonnets, by Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and on My Life with Pablo Neruda by Neruda’s wife, Matilde Urrutia.
100 Love Sonnets is divided into four sections: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Night. These divisions, expanded and clarified with further poetry by Neruda and with original text, become the four acts of the opera. The poetry describes an inward journey of love and spiritual growth, within a sometimes tempestuous relationship.
Matilde’s dilemma, “How do I balance personal freedom with commitment to another person and to society in general?” is a universal dilemma. Matilde, through her association with Pablo Neruda and through the events of her own life, achieved a remarkable spiritual and emotional development. She became a champion for the “disappeared ones”, under the murderous regime of Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
Click above for a video with more details about My Life with Pablo Neruda, the pocket opera-cabaret.
Ray Luedeke, Composer of My Life with Pablo Neruda and Artistic Director of Voice Afire: http://www.voiceafire.com/
Guillermo Verdecchia, Canadian/Argentine playwright, dramaturge for My Life with Pablo Neruda: http://bit.ly/146kKLp
Paul Bellantoni as Pablo http://www.paulbellantoni.com/
Lea McKenna-Garcia as Matilde
Kacey Cardin, soprano http://www.kaceycardin.com
Jovier Sanchez, tenor
Voice Afire is in Stage 3 of a multi-year plan.
Stage 1 happened in Canada, where over the course of about 9 years we developed a model for a new kind of musical theater show, one that would be adaptable to a variety of venues and would tour. My Life with Pablo Neruda was one of these – it received grant money from the government of Ontario and from the Canada Council for 2 Workshops, as well as a small grant toward a Production.
Stage 2 happened when in 2010 Voice Afire moved to New York. In January 2012 we rented the 45th St. Theater and put on Butterfly’s Trouble for a one week run. We also produced The Art of Love, our multi-media cabaret, at Merkin Concert Hall, having previously produced it in 2010 at Symphony Space and in 2011 at the Yamaha Piano Salon. Butterfly’s Trouble received a rave review from Theater Mania. The reviewer understood exactly what we were about and his review - without any prompting from us – describes this new kind of musical theater that we have developed. Butterfly’s Trouble works pretty much exactly as My Life with Pablo Neruda works. Both shows combine actors and singers and the same ensemble of musicians. Butterfly has 7 performers, Neruda 8. Link to the review:
Stage 3 is happening now. Last year we used our own funds to produce Butterfly, this year we will finance a live “awareness raising” / fund raising event on May 18 at the Flamboyán Theater, part of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. This will be a kind of Neruda love-in. For this event we have hired a publicist but have no publicity budget. Our main financial thrust will be in a Kickstarter campaign to raise $85,000 to put Neruda on off-Broadway, again at the Flamboyán Center, for one month in the spring of 2014.
4 takes Neruda, after a
successful NY run, on tour
worldwide. There already exists a libretto completely in Spanish. We
would need to develop the show in other languages as well.
Stage 5 is the creation of an Ensemble Theater Company, a company run by its own artist/entrepreneur members, somewhat in the manner of the Berlin Philharmonic, which hires its own Director and Administration. To this end we have allied ourselves with Alfama Arts Mgt., a new kind of arts management. http://alfamaarts.com
Reviews of Butterfly’s Trouble
Theater Mania by FigandFlan on Monday, Jan
This new version by Ray Luedeke (premiered now in NY after earlier runs in Canada) breathes new life into the Puccini work as a real piece of theater, and may mark the direction for opera to take as a living art form in the coming centuryhttp://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/shows/butterflys-trouble_188269/reviews/ Opera lives!
K-W Chamber Music Society’s presentation of the Voice Afire
Pocket Opera Production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, with a short variety
program to start off, was a resounding success in their diminutive Music Room
…The hall was filled literally to capacity - the last patron was wedged into a
corner - and the audience was rapt and enthusiastic… Great show!
Jan Narveson http://www.k-wcms.com/KWCMS/Home.html
“How does one transform a grand opera so that it can be performed in an intimate setting by a small group of performers and yet not lose its dramatic impact?Raymond Luedeke’s Voice Afire Production of Madama Butterfly appears to be the answer to that question.… a compelling and captivating work.Bravo!” Robert Sutherland, The Metropolitan Opera www.metoperafamily.org
Review of Close Embrace – a tango cabaret
…a wonderful program of dance, music, and tango history put on by Toronto musician Raymond Luedeke as part of the Shaw Festival Summer program at Niagara-on-the-Lake. His musicians and dancers were excellent and his commentary tied it all together nicely in a neat, historical package. If it comes to your town, it is a show not to be missed!” Mary Macchiusi, President, Pembroke Publishers www.pembrokepublishers.com
Reviews of Ray Luedeke’s The North Wind’s Gift – for orchestra
Glasgow, Scotland - The Glasgow Herald - The North Wind's Gift which opened the concert is an extremely effective piece of pictorial modernism: scurrying, tempestuous, well-laced with dramatic tension, and very well written.
England - The Guardian - 3 May 1991
Luedeke's score amounted to an atmospheric symphony poem, taking
advantage of the dramatic elements of pathos and magic in the tale. Vivid and
assured in its orchestration, it was obviously a joy for the TSO to perform and
its idiom intermingled tonal and chromatically saturated ingredients.
Review of Ray Luedeke’s Tales of the Netsilik – for orchestra with narrator
The Toronto Star ... it was a richly satisfying score, full of imaginative ideas that combined to give a startling impression of life beyond he white man's world.... At the work's premier in Toronto, the audience was on its feet at the end of each of three performances and at intermission, symphony patrons besieged the symphony boutique with requests for the recording.
Testimonials for Ray Luedeke’s The Moon in
the Labyrinth – for harp and string quartet
"... brilliant, idiomatically written for the harp, an important work."
"... an extraordinary composer... his music has strength and emotional appeal."
"... a genius for unusual combinations."
Budget: For 3
weeks of rehearsals and 4 weeks of show:
Fees for Director, Music Director, Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer, Costume Designer, Stage Manager, Asst. Stage Manager, Elec. Board Operator, Publicist: $20,000
Artist’s fees for 2 actors, 2 singers, 2 covers, 3 musicians: $30,000
Rehearsal space and Theater rental: $20,000
Physical Properties, Printing, misc.: $5,000
Load in, Load out: $1,500
Kickstarter, Amazon Account, Gifts: $8,500
Total budget: $85,000
Note: Revenue from ticket sales will be used as seed money for our proposed international tour. 50% of royalties go to The Pablo Neruda Foundation in Chile, as per contract. Any royalty money due Ray Luedeke will be used for the proposed tour.
Risks and challenges
The risks of launching this project is that putting on a show in New York City can be a complicated affair. However, Voice Afire has been producing shows for nine years, 6 in Canada and 3 in New York City. Voice Afire produced Butterfly’s Trouble, similar in size and structure, successfully at the 45th Street Theater in Midtown Manhattan in January 2012. Another risk is that we will not reach our Kickstarter goal. This risk is covered by the fact that Voice Afire is working on a 2nd production of My Life with Pablo Neruda, this one bilingual, with Dan Swern, Producing Director at coLab Arts in New Brunswick, New Jersey. CoLab has good community support and will emphasize the multi-cultural and educational aspects of the show.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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