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Emerson String Quartet Featured in ‘Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy’

The Black Monk (photo by Hilary Scott)

A multimedia theatrical creation, “Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy” featuring the Emerson String Quartet and an ensemble of actors, comes to Staller Center’s Main Stage on Friday, April 12, at 8 pm. The imaginative project, a theater and music collaboration, was created by James Glossman, director/writer, and Philip Setzer, violinist of Emerson String Quartet.

"The Black Monk" features the Emerson String Quartet, Richard Thomas and Jeffrey DeMunn (photo by Hilary Scott).
“The Black Monk” features the Emerson String Quartet, Richard Thomas and Jeffrey DeMunn (photo by Hilary Scott).

Tickets are $48 at stallercenter.com or call (631) 632-ARTS.

Richard Thomas plays Dmitri Shostakovich.
Richard Thomas plays Dmitri Shostakovich.

“Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy” weaves the tale of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s 50-year quest to create an opera from Anton Chekhov’s 1894 novella, “The Black Monk.” It is the haunting and heroic story of Shostakovich’s struggle for his sanity and survival amid the ever-changing imperatives of Stalin’s Soviet state. Chekhov, too, was struggling psychologically when he wrote his novella in the 19th century. This creation pays homage to the opera Shostakovich dreamed of writing.

“The Black Monk” features Richard Thomas (The Americans, The Waltons) as Dmitri Shostakovich and Jeffrey DeMunn as Stalin (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead). Shostakovich’s music and Chekhov’s tale meet at lastinterweaving Shostakovich’s life and music with Anton Chekhov’s story.

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