Breaking up Beethoven: 'Love Elegies' reveals composer's romance and loneliness at The Mount


LENOX - Ensemble for the Romantic Century comes to The Mount with "Beethoven Love Elegies," a dramatic performance following his search for love and his struggle with isolation as he grew deaf.

With a script drawn from Beethoven's letters and diaries and accounts by his contemporaries, interwoven with performances of some of his greatest music, this production dramatizes Beethoven's young years in Vienna and his search for a wife. Actor Kire Tosevski as Beethoven heads a company of five actors and four musicians (violinist Rachel Lee Priday, cellist Sebastian Bäverstam, pianist Eve Wolf, and baritone Chad Sloane).

"This script is very dear to my heart," said Eve Wolf, founder and executive artistic director of ERC and writer/pianist of Beethoven Love Elegies. "It is so moving to witness Beethoven at this younger age when he was boisterous, flirtatious, and sociable, and then to see his gradual descent into isolation when his deafness became more extreme. Beethoven was very spiritual and never lost hope, in spite of this adversity. The music reveals his struggle as well as his unstoppable hope and optimism."

Depicted in a tragicomic script based on Beethoven's letters and contemporaries' recollections of the composer, "Beethoven Love Elegies" highlights the composer's attempts at finding an enduring love while growing increasingly deaf. His unfulfilled desire for a meaningful, and lifelong relationship finds its voice in his music - recorded excerpts from Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, which represents Beethoven's idealized view of marriage; his Variations on Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen (A young girl or a little wife), based on an aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute; the "Moonlight" Sonata, which was dedicated to his piano student Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with whom he fell in love; the "Ghost" Trio, a slow movement; and rarely-performed Lieder (Neues Liebe; neues Leben, a song about first love; Der Kuss, a humorous portrayal of a man who gets the kiss he wants from a girl who tries to resist him; and An die Hoffnung, Op.94, which expresses the sustaining sweetness of hope amid despair).

The show will run Wednesday, July 16, to Sunday, Aug. 3 at The Mount, 2 Plunkett St.


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