The Voice of the Violin

An evening of words and music with Dante, Prokofiev and Anna Akhmatova

Long enough I have frozen in fear,

Better to summon a Bach Chaconne,
And behind it will enter a man…

Anna Akhmatova


Nine Circles Chamber Theatre launched its third consecutive season of new explorations of the dramatic interplay between words and music with The Voice of the Violin, an evening of musical storytelling that set the violin in unique dialogues with singers and actors.  In a staged evening directed by David Chambers, Morgenstern performed works by Sergei Prokofiev, Bruce Saylor, and Mel Marvin, (including excerpts from Nine Circles’ opera-in-progress Guest from the Future), joined by singers Michaela Martens and Randall Scarlata and pianist Margo Garrett with music confronting and complementing the poetry of Dante and Anna Akhmatova.

"Our aim," says Levi, "is to take the audience on a journey, much in the way Virgil led Dante into the Inferno or Akhmatova took the young philosopher Berlin into the heart of darkness that was Stalinist Leningrad in 1945." "But," adds Morgenstern, "in The Voice of the Violin it is the violin that harnesses the power of music to act as a forceful protagonist, to lead the other characters into places that cannot be described in words."

Premiere: November 13, 2003 Symphony Space, New York, NY


David Chambers Director
Mel Marvin
Original Music
Bruce Saylor
Original Music
Jonathan Levi
Original Text
Gil Morgenstern
Violin and Music Director
Margo Garrett
Michaela Martens
Randall Scarlata