"It is story-telling for adults, heart-rending and sophisticated... Tedeschi is a true master of the pianoforte... [Bell's] voice soars above the piano accompaniment and runs the gamut of emotions from the faintest whisper to intense grief to anger. It is a virtuoso performance and the synergy between these two performers was obvious."
StageWhispers, 2017 (Enoch Arden, Adelaide Festival Centre)
Simon Tedeschi Piano
John Bell Orator
John Bell AO OBE, founder of Bell Shakespeare Company and Helpmann Award winner, partners with internationally acclaimed, ARIA-nominated pianist Simon Tedeschi to present two fascinating performances; Enoch Arden, a deeply moving performance of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s classic 1864 poem set to music by German Romantic composer, Richard Strauss; and Bright Star, a feast of Romantic poetry and music featuring the works of Keats and Schubert.
Told through spoken word and solo piano, this timeless tale of love, loss and redemption follows the story of three childhood friends, Enoch Arden, Philip Ray, and Annie Lee. Enoch and Annie marry and start a family, but after Enoch is shipwrecked on an island for ten years, he returns home to find his soulmate Annie remarried to his best friend Philip, believing Enoch to be dead. Heartbroken when he learns of Annie and Philip’s relationship and of their child together, Enoch must decide whether to intervene or to leave the two lovers to their lives together, sacrificing his own happiness in the process.
Described by Bell as "a moving and dramatic tale of shipwreck, loss and redemption - very satisfying theatre", Tedeschi similarly says audiences should expect of Enoch Arden, "A tragic, tempestuous, romantic tale accompanied by music of genius. Half chamber music, half theatre.
Bell, long heralded as a major creative force in the Australian theatre scene and named one of Australia’s National Living Treasures, is delighted to be performing with a musician as accomplished and masterful as Tedeschi. He says, “I love working with musicians; I love being up close and watching their technique and feeling the visceral presence of the instruments... I've admired Simon for a long time; he's a bit of an entertainer and showman as well as being a great pianist. Of one thing I can assure you: Simon’s performance of Strauss’ expressive and at times exquisite score is good enough reason to have a listen.”
Australian theatre icon, John Bell AO OBE and internationally acclaimed pianist Simon Tedeschi renew their triumphant partnership with 'Bright Star', exploring the life, love and genius of two bright stars of the Romantic era – John Keats and Franz Schubert. Though they never met, these contemporaneous geniuses of literature and music were kindred spirits: both died young, having loved a woman beyond his reach due to her superior social standing, and both created masterpieces which still resonate strongly today.
Performing some of the most beloved poems of Keats including 'Bright Star', ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, and ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, and music by Schubert including Ave Maria, Winterreise and Sonata no.18 in G major (‘Fantasie’), Bell and Tedeschi share their insights into the enduring power of these timeless works, and the lives of the artists who created them.
Grand piano tuned on the day
Headset microphone for John
Armchair on stage
Small table (with glass of water)
Enoch Arden available throughout 2018
Bright Star available from September 2018
Travel to centres in regional NSW is subsidised through the support of Arts NSW. Musica Viva can book the artists, arrange all travel and accommodation, provide posters, flyers and program information.
If you are interested in bringing an ensemble to your town or city, please contact:
Artist Development Coordinator