Midland Music, the professional music series of the Bronxville Women's Club, 135 Midland Avenue, Bronxville, will present its final concert for the 2013 series on Sunday, March 17, at 3:00 pm. Awakenings: A Program for Women's History Month. Performing will be Met Opera soprano Korliss Uecker, Jeanne Ruskin, narrator, and Joanne Polk, piano. They will be performing music by women composers. The director is Kte Chisholm.
Titled "AWAKENINGS" the program is a performance piece intended to explore the still-relevant, still-problematic issues of women’s roles in a society which, by historic design and traditional convenience, continues to curtail, direct, deflect and often suppress a woman’s intelligence, talent, strength and self-image. The afternoon is a dramatization of American writer Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel, The Awakening, supported by the compositions of Clara Wieck Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Amy Beach, and Pauline Viardot Garcia – artists who, living in the 19th century, were vastly ahead of their time and relatively undervalued by their contemporary culture. Designed to be performed in many types of venues, from the intimate “salon” setting of a private home to a small concert hall, even a media broadcast (either television or radio), the piece requires the talents of three female performers: a NARRATOR to read the excerpts from the novel; a classical PIANIST to play the instrumental sections and to accompany a SOPRANO who will sing the selections of lieder.
With the success of such contemporary entertainments as the films ”Far from Heaven,” “American Beauty,” and “Revolutionary Road,” and the wildly successful “Desperate Housewives” television series, it is obvious that the issues have not been resolved, and it is clear that Nora’s slamming door (in Ibsen’s A Doll House, written in 1879, a precursor to The Awakening) is still resounding: When Germany gained its first female chancellor a few years ago, who in turn appointed an accomplished professional woman (and mother of seven) to an influential position, it re-opened the issue of “Ravenmutter”, the German term for “bad mother”, who leaves her children and flies the nest. “Awakenings” proposes to address this timely subject through the timeless creations of women who lived through it and who left a provocative legacy of wisdom, compassion, beauty and pain.
Suggested donations are $20 adults; $15 seniors; $5 students.
JOANNE POLK (Pianist) has been catapulted into the public eye with her recordings of the complete piano works of American composer Amy Beach. The first recording in the Beach series, by the still waters, received the 1998 INDIE award for best solo recording. She celebrated the centennial of Beach’s Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor by giving the work its London premiere with the English Chamber Orchestra. Songs of Amy Beach, recorded with baritone Patrick Mason for Bridge Records, was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award. Ms. Polk’s two-CD set of solo piano music by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was released on the Newport Classic label in 2010. Her most recent solo piano CD, titled Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, was released in June, 2012 on the Bridge Records label. She is a member of the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music.
KORLISS UECKER (Soprano) has performed extensively with the Metropolitan Opera, including Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro (NPR broadcast), Marzelline in Fidelio, Oscar in A Masked Ball, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow. She sang in a telecast of The Elixir of Love with Pavarotti, and has performed with Placido Domingo numerous times. Other opera houses include Strasbourg, France; Opera de Monte Carlo; Ireland’s Wexford Festival; Santa Fe Opera; Spoleto Festival; Ravinia Festival; Pittsburgh Opera; and Washington Opera (DC). She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophone, London Decca, Arabesque Records, and has appeared on Live from Lincoln Center. Her CD with Joanne Polk, Completely Clara: Lieder by Clara Wieck Schumann, released on the Arabesque label, was selected as a “Best of the Year” recording by The Seattle Times and was featured on Performance Today on New York Public Radio.
JEANNE RUSKIN (Narrator), who has conceptualized “Awakenings” and is its adaptor and dramatizer, is a theatre professional of more than thirty-five years standing, with acting credits ranging from Broadway (original production of Equus) to off-off-Broadway, regional theatre, film and television, and performances in Russia. As an educator, she has a BFA from NYU School of the Arts, MFAs from Carnegie-Mellon University and MXAT (Moscow Art Theatre) Studio, and has taught voice & speech and acting at major colleges and universities in the Northeast. The founder and artistic director of RFTC, Inc/Red Flute Theatre Company, based in New York City, she has produced original works and adaptations/translations of plays by established playwrights, such as Pam Gems and Marguerite Duras. Also a poet, she has given public readings of her poetry in venues around the country. She coaches acting privately.
Kate Chisholm has directed original works at Prospect Theater Company, The Culture Project, La MaMa, Joe’s Pub, Baltimore Theatre Project, and the Yale British Art Center. As a writer, Kate won a Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received a Barrymore nomination for Outstanding New Play for The Hidden Sky (music and lyrics by Peter Foley). She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab, and an alum of the St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab, where she created and designed Newton’s Universe. She has received grants from Theater Instituut Nederlands, the US/ Netherlands Touring & Exchange Project, and St. Ann's Warehouse (Brooklyn, NY). Kate holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA in Theatre from Towson University.
For more information, call the BWC at (914) 337-3252 or visit website www.bronxvillewomensclub.org. Tickets will be available at the door.