A concert performance inspired by the work and love story of composer Frederic Chopin and writer George Sand
Script writer and director – Birute Mar
Scenographer – Indre Pacesaite
Assistant director – Sigita Mikalauskaite
Performered by pianist Egle Andrejevaite and actress Birute Mar
Excerpts from “A Winter in Majorca” by George Sand were translated by Birute Mar
PREMIERE – 30 June 2021 (Kaunas) and 2 July 2021 (Vilnius)
Duration – 1h 20 min.
The project is a collaboration between Piano Studio TonArt and Creative Studio Solo. The project was partially supported by Vilnius City Municipality and Lithuanian Council for Culture.
The winter of 1838-1839 was spent together on the Spanish island of Majorca by two famous composers who fell in love with each other: the Polish composer Frederic Chopin and the French writer George Sand. At the time Sand was known as an artist who broke the conservative norms of society by wearing men’s clothes and holding a cigar which was one of the first female “pipers” of the 19th century. By the time she met Chopin, she had already lived in a women’s convent, got married, had given birth to a son and a daughter, left her husband, followed her lover to Paris and written several novels under the masculine pseudonym George Sand. Chopin was not yet thirty but he was already a renowned musical genius and virtuoso who had toured many countries with concerts. Yet abandoned by the woman he was engaged to…
Chopin has been plagued by coughing fits since childhood, and together with his new sweetheart and her two children, they decide to spend the winter on the warm Spanish island of Majorca.
Despite the difficulties of domestic life and the lovers’ tumultuous relationship, the trip was productive: staying at the Monastery of Valldemossa on the island of Majorca, the artists worked intensively there with Chopin composing his famous set of piano preludes Op. 28, and Sand writing a book of essays and memoirs “A Winter in Majorca”.
The script of the concert performance is based on texts by George Sand, memories of contemporaries and letters that testify to the special experiences of the two artists at that time, moments of love tension and passion contrasting with the difficulties of everyday life: it is not only a journey of the two artists visiting the island of Spain but also an inner journey into the world of feelings, relationships. The script transforms Chopin’s music, which deepens the narrative of the text with an emotional language of sound, into experiences testified in words. The theme of the work is particularly relevant today – the creative force as the ability to overcome the trials of everyday life, to transform them into experiences on the existential level and the depth of creativity.
In the concert performance, Chopin’s set of twenty-four preludes Op. 28 is performed by pianist Egle Andrejevaite and excerpts from George Sand’s work “A Winter in Majorca”, recollections and letters from Sand and Chopin’s own contemporaries are interpreted by actress Birute Mar.
At the International Theatre Festival “Druskininkai Summer Theatre Crossroads” (2021), the concert performance “A WINTER IN MAJORCA” was awarded a Festival Diploma “For the connection between music and word” by the international jury.
Photos by D. Matvejevas
It was a great concert in Kaunas. I particularly admired the actress Birute Mar, who conveyed the period of Chopin and Sand’s life spent in Majorca with great subtlety and aristocracy. Special thanks also go to the pianist Andrejevaite who dared to perform the entire set of Chopin’s preludes without having to endure the heat of the Kaunas Philharmonic. We look forward to the next concerts.
Alina Ramanauskiene, fb 09.07.2021 :