The Chevalier, a show about the life and music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges will be performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Winston-Salem Symphony this October.
Bill Barclay’s critically acclaimed concert theatre work THE CHEVALIER tells the story of 18th Century musician/activist, Joseph Bologne, a prominent Black composer, conductor, and violinist who advocated for the abolition of slavery in the French colonies while teaching music to Marie Antoinette and leading Europe’s top orchestra.
“Absorbing and illuminating” – John von Rhein for Chicago Classical Review
“A compelling new concert theatre work” – Chicago Sun-Times
October 2, 2022
Reynolds Auditorium Winston-Salem NC
Thomas Hueser, conductor
October 19, 2022
Kleinhans Music Hall Buffalo NY
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Concert Theatre Works will bring its critically acclaimed show The Chevalier to audiences in Winston-Salem NC and Buffalo, NY. Brendon Elliott performs as solo violinist and is joined by actors Thomas Brazzle as Joseph Bologne, David Joseph as Mozart, and Bill Barclay as librettist Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Sarah Baskin will play the role of Marie Antoinette in Winston-Salem, and Merritt Janson plays the role in Buffalo.
Writer and Director of The Chevalier, Bill Barclay says, “The cast and I couldn’t be more excited about the October run of performances in Winston-Salem and Buffalo. Both orchestras have been incredible supporters of The Chevalier, recognizing that the orchestral landscape needs to focus on more players, composers, conductors, and repertoire from historically underrepresented communities. Both orchestras are now members of the Sphinx Organization’s National Alliance for Audition Support, and we are proud to be working with Sphinx to thread a line for future collaboration between their two organizations. These types of alliances and collaborations are important to Concert Theatre Works to ensure that The Chevalier makes a permanent impact for future generations of Black and Latinx musicians.”
About THE CHEVALIER
Son of a slave and French aristocrat, Joseph Bologne has reached the top of his game – music teacher to Marie Antoinette and Europe’s fencer to beat. But, when a bedridden Mozart is carried into his kitchen, he attracts the attention of Paris’ secret police force returning people of colour to slavery.
As Paris hurtles toward Revolution, Bologne is forced to choose between his creative freedom and the crusade for equality. Can he sacrifice his bow for his sword?
This is the true story of three immigrants – Marie Antoinette, Mozart, and the Chevalier – conflating the French Revolution with the Resistance against authoritarianism unfolding today.
The Chevalier, written and directed by Bill Barclay was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the Tanglewood Learning Institute.
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Thomas Brazzle
Solo violinist: Brendon Elliott
Marie Antoinette: Sarah Baskin (Winston-Salem) & Merritt Janson (Buffalo)
W.A. Mozart: David Joseph
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos: Bill Barclay
About writer/director BILL BARCLAY
Director, writer, composer and conductor Bill Barclay is artistic director of Concert Theatre Works. He was director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe from 2012-2019 and has been recently named Artistic Director of the Music Before 1800 concert series in New York City. This season’s collaborators include: National Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Gandini Juggling, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, United Strings of Europe, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Institution, Caramoor Festival, and the Harlem Chamber Players. Broadway and West End credits as Music Supervisor include Farinelli and the King, Twelfth Night, and Richard III, all starring Sir Mark Rylance.
A ‘personable polymath’ (London Times), Bill Barclay has debuted works of concert theatre for the LA Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Grammy-winning Silkroad Ensemble, City of London Sinfonia, and annually with The Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has created in some of the world’s most iconic spaces: The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, the Barbican, Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Southbank Centre, Hampton Court Palace, and Washington National Cathedral. Collaborators include the conductors Marin Alsop, Andris Nelsons, Dame Jane Glover, Seigi Ozawa, JoAnn Falletta, Bramwell Tovey, Gianandrea Noseda, Harry Christophers, Trevor Pinnock, and Sakari Oramo. Other partners include The English Concert, Tanglewood, Cincinnati and Virginia Symphonies, Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, The Sixteen, Mostly Mozart Festival and Handel & Haydn Society.
His newest play with music, The Chevalier, was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and premiered at Tanglewood in 2019. A Finalist for The National Playwright’s Conference, it tours the US and UK in 2022 to raise money for the Sphinx National Alliance of Audition Support, which aims to address the lack of racial representation in orchestras in North America.
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