Brecht’s play includes poetic quatrains before each scene as well as a marvelous “Ballad of the Orders” mocking society stratification. A humanist and satirical masterpiece. Audio includes music cues as well as Dirksen’s own digest of the full show.
D No: 607
Text - Author or Scripture: Berthold Brecht (1898-1956)
Performing Forces: two flutes, oboe, bassoon, percussion, keyboard, handbells, SATB, solo vocal
Date Published: CE 92
Date of Composition: 1972
Notes: In June of 1972, on the island of Chincoteague, Virginia, the music was composed for this production, setting the quatrains or couplets with which Brecht introduces each of the scenes, in styles appropriate to the coming action or present reflections. The first week in August a cast of thirty-five under the direction of Ted Walsh, founder of the Trapier Theater Shakespeare & Co., presented six evening performances of “Galileo Galilei” in the Crossing of Washington Cathedral as part of the Summer Festival. Howard Witt, then of the Arena Stage Company, played the title role, and Stanley Anderson, also of the Arena company, was cast as Mephistopheles. Forty-four dedicated students and friends, and some members of the cathedral staff created sets, costumes, lighting, and saw to the many details of rehearsals and production. Three-thousand-five-hundred people attended the six free performances. Four clear and strongly voiced trebles (boy sopranos), two male altos (countertenors), two tenors, and a baritone comprised the chorus which was seated in the choir stalls. The Ballad Singer (onstage) was a fine actress and a mezzo-soprano with a powerful low range. Andrea and the Children, also on stage, had strong natural singing voices. The orchestra supporting the singers consisted of flute (doubling piccolo), alto flute, oboe, bassoon, harp, percussion (trap set and large gong), an electronic keyboard instrument with harpsichord, piano and reed organ stops, and ten handbells suspended on a rack and stuck with mallets, or rung by hand. The Great Organ was used for the procession in 9d, and accompanied the 14b finale. (In a theater production the organ part could be pre-recorded and then amplified into the theater, since all of the music will be enhanced with some amplification even in a small house.) The conductor also played the keyboard part.
The complete show.
Categorized as: Theater
Tagged as: guitar, keyboard, organ, percussion, play, SATB