Pulsing, provocative and multidimensional, this contemporary take on Shakespeare's classic drama was the final commission by legendary theatrical producer Joseph Papp for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival (1987-91) but never performed due to Papp's passing in 1991. First public "reading" of scene sketches at The Public Theater, New York -- April 1990. Joseph Papp, producer; David Arden, Music Director - the world premiere of a staged concert version at SoBe Arts' Little Stage Theater, Miami Beach -- March 2012. John Yaffé, music director; Carson Kievman, stage director.
"I have been familiar with Mr. Kievman’s work since 1978, when I produced his brilliantly innovative musical work for the theater, WAKE UP, IT’S TIME TO GO TO BED! I feel that Mr. Kievman ranks among the foremost modern composers in his understanding of both the components of musical composition and in the particular demands of a theatrical music work. Mr. Kievman has the somewhat rare ability to translate the dramatic and emotional contexts of his works to his audience in a powerful and profound way musically. This strong combination of Mr. Kievman’s innovative technical abilities as a composer with his powerful emotional and dramatic sense make him an artist very worthy of consideration" Joseph Papp (December 22, 1986)
Lawrence Budmen, The Miami Herald / South Florida Classical Review 3/3/12
"The 21-year journey to the stage of Carson Kievman's opera Hamlet took an important step forward with the premiere of a staged concert version on Friday night at Kievman's SoBe Institute of the Arts in Miami Beach."
"Hamlet's solo monologues are poignantly emotive, the beautiful arioso writing dramatically powerful... the ghost scene is wonderfully eerie... Horatio's final goodnight sweet prince is lyrically potent."
"Kenneth Mattice was a charismatic Hamlet, his fine lyric baritone spinning the often unaccompanied solos effortlessly. Unhinged from the onset, Mattice's prince seemed doomed with every step and utterance. Megan Brus nearly stole the show as Ophelia with her flawless coloratura and compelling portrait of emotional disintegration."
"A strong theatrical crescendo builds from the confrontation of Hamlet and Ophelia through the play within a play and Ophelia's haunting mad scene. Indeed one of Kievman's major accomplishments is turning the usually nondescript character of Ophelia into a strong dramatic persona."
"Elegantly costumed by Angelina Esposito with lighting by Robert Perry that alternates bright glints of color with shadowy effects, Kievman's production effectively utilizes the entire space of the Little Stage Theater, aisles and entrances included. A well-drilled cast presented the score in its best light."
Examples of Carson Kievman's music fully realized with orchestra & chorus:
INTELLIGENT COMPANY PUBLISHERS – NEW YORK