The Hallé - Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, online, 29 April–29 July 2021, from £5 - Book now
IGOR STRAVINSKY The Soldier’s Tale
Sir Mark Elder CONDUCTOR
Annabel Arden DIRECTOR
Promising to be a highlight of the Hallé’s Winter Season, Sir Mark Elder conducts a staged performance of Stravinsky’s 1918 masterpiece The Soldier’s Tale, directed by Olivier Award winner Annabel Arden, who is celebrated internationally for her insightful operatic productions.
Streaming from Hallé St Peter’s, The Soldier’s Tale will be performed as it was conceived to ‘be read, played, and danced’ by three actors, a dancer and seven instrumentalists. This small group of performers was necessitated by circumstance; during the war and the Spanish flu pandemic, when Stravinsky was in Switzerland, he dreamt up the work as a travelling theatre piece that could be staged in smaller Swiss towns.
While a second wave of the Spanish flu stopped the tour in its tracks, The Soldier’s Tale later saw Stravinsky break new ground and establish music-theatre as a genre. Growing to be hugely influential later in the 20th Century, it showed that music drama did not need to come with all the expensive trappings of opera.
The Soldier’s Tale’s vivid music, rhythmic and lyrical by turns, incorporates jazz and popular dances, like tango and ragtime, while the story explores the archetypal Faustian myth. A soldier, on his way home from the battlefields, is persuaded to sell his precious violin to an old man in exchange for a book in which he’ll find the secret of making untold wealth. Little does the soldier know that the buyer is the Devil and that he has sold his soul…
To book tickets for the streamed performance, head over to the Hallé’s website.
The Hallé - Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, online