Music Theatre | 2019

The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi

Creation: 28.09.2019
Teatro alle Tese, Venezia
Biennale Musica 2019
Text by Eugene Ostashevsky

Esther Elisabeth Rispens, soprano
Ensemble Arsenale
Filippo Perocco, conductor
Antonello Pocetti, direction
Antonino Viola, set and costumes
The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi is a meta-novel by Eugene Ostashevsky, published by the New York Review of Books in 2017.
The work, mostly in poetry, is about the relationship between a pirate and a parrot who undergo a series of adventures until they are shipwrecked on a deserted island. The poem is characterized by multilingual punning, rapid changes of texture and form, deep engagement with philosophy, and, above all, by humor. It sometimes incorporates fragments of sixteenth and seventeenth-century texts about pirates and parrots.
Eugene Ostashevsky has a very peculiar way of reading his own poetry, imposing theatricality on the voice, and revealing the inner melody of each word. The dialogue between the Pirate and the Parrot will generate a music-theatre project,  reproducing and amplifying the suggestive performance of the poetry itself, like an acoustic rendering of this peculiar poetical world.
The Parrot and the Pirate are an impossible couple, elaborating  different forms of dialogue, gripped by anxiety and solitude. The landscape they are immersed in is strangely silent, unhistorical, unknown, charged with fear.

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Seven conversations for soprano and ensemble (2019)
(tenor sax, electric guitar, accordion, doublebass and piano)
Text by Eugene Ostashevsky
Commission: Biennale Musica
First performance: Teatro alle Tese, Venezia, 28.09.2019
Esther-Elisabeth Rispens (soprano)
Ensemble Arsenale
Filippo Perocco (conductor)
Antonello Pocetti (direction)
Antonino Viola (Set and costumes)
Rai Com Music Publishing
Duration: ca. 25 m.

Picture: Esther-Elisabeth Rispens, voice