Enoch Arden: A Special Evening of 19th Century Piano and Poetry to Benefit the Classical Theater Wing


Alfred Lord Tennyson and Richard Strauss

Directed By: 

Charles E. Gerber

A Special Event
At a Special Venue


November 17, 2010

The WorkShop Theater Company
With the gracious hospitality of
The Players Club

A Special Evening of
19th Century Piano and Poetry
To Benefit the Classical Theater Wing

Internationally renowned pianist
Gayle Martin Henry
WorkShop Director of Classical Theater
Charles E. Gerber

in a Melodrama for speaker and piano in blank verse
By Alfred Lord Tennyson, Music by Richard Strauss

Enoch Arden

An evening of 19th Century Piano and Poetry, featuring music by Robert Schumann, a Wagner/Liszt transcription, poetry by Robert Browning and Alfred Lord Tennyson, culminating in our combining the spoken word of Tennyson to the music of Richard Strauss in our rendering of the poignant tale of love.

"Not to tell her, never to let her know…..never!"...Tennyson

This "based-on-a-true-story" poem in free verse is the origin of the film "Castaway" with Tom Hanks as well as two D. W.Griffith films of the original title. It is a phenomenon in the annals of both literature and classical music. First published in 1864, it was an immediate best-seller when Tennyson was Poet-Laureate of England. By a generation later, the young German composer, Richard Strauss ("Sprach Zarathustra", "Der Rosenkavalier") was investigating among the twelve translations into German alone! In 1897 he toured with his speech mentor, Ernst von Possart, a master actor and director. There, Strauss' reputation as a composer of dramatic music construction was solidified. The work pointed the way to his great symphonic poems and operas to come.

Before Film, Radio, Television and what has ensued, a Spoken Melodrama with musical accompaniment was a chief source of entertainment. What more glorious an atmsophere than that of the 19th century home of Edwin Booth to re-enliven this musical/theater form?

There are several recordings of the work, including with Claude Rains and Glenn Gould.

A wine&cheese reception shall follow.

Read reviews and learn about Gayle Martin Henry at
www.ridgefieldsymphony.org or