Some press bits for the premiere of "Scarred by the Somme"
Mona Seghatoleslami, WXXI Classical 91.5:
Another dark and difficult one: this show combines music by Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky with history and imagery of war, focusing specifically on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the the Somme. Table Top Opera does some of the best challenging, artistic work using classical music in the area; their projects have all been fascinating, including their comic book opera presentations and last year's Songs on the Death of Children, combining Mahler's songs with issues of child poverty and mortality.
Rebecca Rafferty, City Newspaper:
The Eastman School's gorgeous Kilbourn Hall was again the backdrop of TableTopOpera's Fringe production. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of one of the bloodiest engagements in Europe's Great War,"Scarred by the Somme" echoed the tragic, grim themes of the group's 2015 program, "Kindertotenlieder" (songs on the death of children). more...
Jeff Spevak, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:
Like this coming Thursday night at the Rochester Fringe Fest. I expect to be thoroughly entertained by the fusion of images and music drawn from 1916 by TableTopOpera, a chamber-music ensemble of faculty, students, alumnae and friends of the Eastman School of Music. But the show at Kilbourn Hall, “Scarred By the Somme,” is deadly, deadly, deadly serious. This is the 100th anniversary of The Somme. A World War I battle in France that left more than one million soldiers dead or wounded. For that 4½ months of work, the British and French armies advanced six miles. Your cows are now our cows. The ones that survived, anyway. more...
Dan Gross, freelance journalist:
In what was an incredible and evocative performance, the TableTopOpera took the audience on an emotional tour throughout Debussy’s life, with details including his own quotes (“When will hate be exhausted?” served as a touchstone quote at the beginning and end) and original manuscripts.
Asking us the same question, and alluding to the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, TableTopOpera explored the issue without pulling punches. more...
An interview "DEBUSSY IN WARTIME: EASTMAN MUSICIANS COLLABORATE IN “SCARRED BY THE SOMME” by Dan for the Eastman Blog with producer/director Matthew Brown can be found here.