Testament

An Audio Performance

Written by Damian Lanigan

Director – Marcus Dean Fuller

Producer – John Wager

Music Performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra

Presented by Saratoga Shakespeare Company and Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Available to Stream Online Aug. 22nd-23rd

At age 32, Ludwig van Beethoven is Europe’s most famous composer and performer. But the young composer has a dreadful secret: he is going deaf. Losing his hearing and driven to despair he leaves Vienna and plans his suicide, but it is not death he finds in the silence. Instead, he emerges with what would become one of the greatest classical music pieces the world has ever known: the Eroica Symphony. How did the master of technique become the genius of invention? He had to go deaf to hear his music. A compelling and inspirational story of the healing power of art, this new work by British playwright Damian Lanigan is commissioned by Saratoga Shakespeare Company and co-produced by SPAC.

Cast and Creative Team

Julian Tushabe
Ludwig van Beethoven

Michael Stewart Allen*
Dr. Schmidt

Liam McKenna
Count Max Lichnowsky

Chris Naughton
Ferdinand Ries

John Romeo*
Narrator/Older Ries

Evy Yergan
Countess Giulietta Gucciardi

Damian Lanigan
Playwright

Marcus Dean Fuller
Director

Stage Manager – Sara Friedman*

Sound Design – John Wager
Concept Development – Guy Mastrion
Piano Underscoring – Lucas Wager
Production Assistant – Isabella Wager
Behind the Scenes Video Directed by Alex Kenyon and Produced by Galileo Media Arts
Video Intro Produced and Directed by Chromoscope Pictures
Recorded and Mixed at Galileo Media Arts in Saratoga Springs, NY

*Appearing through an Agreement between this theatre, Saratoga Shakespeare Company, and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Cast and Creative Team Bios

A Note From the Director

Who are we when we are afraid?

Most of us choose to believe that, when faced with adversity, we would rise to the occasion and face our fears with bravery. The truth is often more humbling. Fear can be devastating. Often, trauma shuts the human psyche down, leaving us debilitated, lonely, and lost.

But we are not alone.

One of the unique wonders of humanity is its ability to transform despair into an instrument of joy. Often, the only difference between fear and faith is the act of perseverance, moving forward toward something beyond our fear, something better we cannot yet fathom but is there, nonetheless. To be alive is to know fear. How we face our fears is often all we have control over, and in facing our fears, we find ourselves.

In 1802, at the height of his career, Europe’s most famous composer and performer Ludwig van Beethoven lost his ability to hear. He was only 32 years old.

How did the master of technique become the genius of invention? His fear drove him from Vienna with the intent of ending his life, but it was not death he found. Instead, he emerged with what would become one of the greatest classical music pieces the world has ever known, a piece that would change classical music forever: the Eroica Symphony.

It is this resilience that we celebrate. In a way, Beethoven’s life and work stand as a reminder of how one’s passion can lead to perseverance, the bravery to meet the challenges of our time and to put faith in something beyond our fears.

We all face challenges, and the times in which we live have brought more than their fair share. As we navigate uncertainty, we must never underestimate the ordinary bravery of others and ourselves. We are not the first to travel these roads and we will not be the last.

Despite his fear, Beethoven’s perseverance left a legacy of beauty and light through his music for generations to come. Let the challenge be for us to take strength from those who have come before, and remind ourselves that our actions will be an example for those who come after. So, who are we when we are afraid? We are those who will meet the moment with passion and perseverance and despite our fears, leave something better for those to come.

Enjoy the show!

Sincerely,
Marcus Dean Fuller

The Music of Testament

Piano underscoring arranged and performed by: Lucas Wager
Additional performances provided by: The Philadelphia Orchestra

Music Credits:

Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”)
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Mozart Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade in G major, K. 525
The Philadelphia Orchestra
David Kim Conductor

Beethoven 1st movement from Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”)
Lucas Wager, arranger
Lucas Wager,
piano

Beethoven 1st movement from Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (“Pathétique”)
Lucas Wager piano

Beethoven 1st and 3rd movements from Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, Op. 27 (“Moonlight”)
Lucas Wager piano

Bach 5th movement from French Suite No.6 in E major, BWV 817
Lucas Wager piano

Mozart 1st movement from Piano Sonata No. 4 in E-flat major, K. 282 / 189g
Lucas Wager piano

 

Sponsors

Saratoga Shakespeare Company thanks Stewart’s/Dake Family for their dedicated support.

Saratoga Arts made this program possible with a Community Arts Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

         

©2020 Saratoga Shakespeare Company

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