The Loathly Lady, an original comic work conceived at the cusp between opera and musical theater, will debut at Penn's Irvine Auditorium on April 1st. Join Jill Pasternak when she interviews librettist Wendy Steiner, and composer Paul Richards.The Loathly Lady is based on Geoffrey Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale (c. 1400), in which a cruel knight must discover what women want most. The Loathly Lady's knight meets a series of opinionated characters in the course of his questing--Sigmund Freud, Jane Austen's Emma, Sheherezade, Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare's Titania, the Lady of Shalott.
When the knight is in his own medieval world, the music evokes the Ars Nova idioms of Chaucer's day and is scored for early instruments (with modern substitutions indicated). When the knight encounters characters from other periods and cultures, the idioms and instrumentation shift accordingly.
In this comedy of male-female misunderstanding, magic and science come to blows in the figures of Merlin and Freud. Can we speak to each other across the gulfs of time and gender and world view? The answer is "perhaps," and the process of finding out will be a feast for the ears, the mind, and the heart.
Includes performances by:
Parthenia, A Consort of Viols
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band