A multimedia theatrical creation, Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy featuring the Emerson String Quartet and an ensemble of actors, comes to Staller Center Main Stage on Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m. at Stony Brook University. The imaginative project, a theater and music collaboration, was created by James Glossman, director/writer, and Philip Setzer, violinist of Emerson String Quartet. Tickets are $48 and can be purchased at www.stallercenter.com or by calling 631-632-2787.
Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy weaves the tale of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s 50-year quest to create an opera from Anton Chekhov’s 1894 novella, The Black Monk. It is the haunting and heroic story of Shostakovich struggle for his sanity and survival amid the ever-changing imperatives of Stalin’s Soviet state. Chekhov, too, was struggling psychologically when he wrote his novella in the 19th century. This creation pays homage to the opera Shostakovich dreamed of writing.
The Black Monk was written and directed by James Glossman and features Richard Thomas (The Americans, The Good Wife) as Dmitri Shostakovich and Jeffrey DeMunn as Stalin (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead). Shostakovich’s music and Chekhov’s tale meet at last, interweaving Shostakovich’s life and music with Anton Chekhov’s story.
The Black Monk received its world premiere at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Detroit, Michigan on June 17, 2017. It has been presented at Princeton University and at the Tanglewood Music Festival.