The Velvet Oratorio

Velvet Oratorio Image


Libretto by Edward Einhorn
Music/staging by Henry Akona

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bruno Walter Auditorium
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
(at Lincoln Center)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street

Production Staff

Libretto: Edward Einhorn Music/Staging: Henry Akona Dramaturgy: Karen Ott 
Musical Director: James Kennerley Video Designer: Jared Mezzochi Costume Designer: Carla Gant
Lighting Designer (BNH): Jeff Nash
Assistant Director: Tom Berger
Stage Manager: Marissa Bea
Concert Master: Michael Midlarsky

Craig Anderson, Timothy Babcock, Danny Bowes, Peter Brown, Jonathan Farmer, Andrea Gallo, Joe Gately, Josh Hartung, Uma Incrocci, Eric Oleson, Yvonne Roen, Tony Torn

and members of the Choir of Saint Mary the Virgin Times Square

Graphic art by Clinton Corbett

The Velvet Oratorio, a new piece written in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, will have its world premiere on November 19 as part of New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ upcoming festival, Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe. The Velvet Oratorio is an evocative retelling of the Velvet Revolution through found text, choral music, and scenes inspired by Václav Havel's Vanêk plays. Performers will include a choir and a string quartet.

The piece is organized as a series of alternating scenes and choruses, the chorus representing the crowds in Prague during the events spanning November 17, 1989 to January 1, 1990. The text for the oratorio is based partly upon recently released U.S. State Department documents and corresponding Czechoslovakian / Soviet documents and interviews with journalists, diplomats, and ordinary people who were in the streets of Prague during the revolution.