A theatrical concert with music and drama
Music by Schubert, Strauss, Wolf, Berg, Bartók and Messiaen
You are immortal, self-sufficient, endowed with telepathic powers, unaffected by time and space, and adept at replenishing your lifeblood for all eternity. But you have no friend to accompany you in your endless journey, no beloved to warm your bed, no children to fill your coldly magnificent castle with laughter. You live the nightmare of a self for whom there is no rest, for whom eternity is a perpetually renewed torment, for whom there will never be the solace of human love and affection. Your powerful hands can tear wild beasts to shreds, but the unspeakable sadness of your eyes can't make a dent in a human heart.
The Ensemble for the Romantic Century invites you to lay aside the image of the bloodthirsty monster and come to experience another side of Dracula: someone who longs for the human touch that could release him from his curse, from his eternal loneliness, and from the silent desert where he has been condemned to live.
In a script that reimagines the vampire myth and portrays Dracula through a script based upon Bram Stoker's iconic novel and other vampire literature, Dracula emerges as a being who makes a claim on our sympathies. He can never die because he has never lived. The dramatic rapport between Dracula, his imprisoned guest Jonathan Harker, and the redemptive figure of Mina Murray is woven into a musical program centering on atmospheric and intensely psychological works that suggest the interface between the real and the uncanny. Music by Bartók contrasts with breathtakingly expressive songs by Schubert, and a haunting excerpt from Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Times creates the musical embodiment of Dracula's irredeemable loneliness.
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) is by far the best known treatment of the vampire myth, which has been present in all cultures since time immemorial: a creature who discovers how to be "un-dead" by feeding on the lifeblood of the living, a being who is a perennial threat to life, a figure that haunts us in dreams in the quiet of the night.
ERC's Dracula offers a theatrical and musical view of this too-close-for-comfort product of our collective imagination.
*7 pm pre-concert lecture