Hell's Fury, The Hollywood Songbook
Hanns Eisler’s life was the story of exile. The brilliant Austrian, Jewish, Marxist composer fled to Hollywood in 1938, only to be deported a decade later, an early casualty of the McCarthy era. Between film scores, he wrote these passionate songs of nostalgia, horror and longing, adapting lyrics by Brecht, Goethe and Shakespeare. Despite his troubles, this song cycle established Eisler’s reputation as one of the 20th century’s great composers of German lieder.
Hell’s Fury, The Hollywood Songbook portrays a day in the life of Eisler, from his arrival in Hollywood to his death in East Germany using the songs of Hollywood Songbook to weave the story together.
The production’s creative team is led by acclaimed director Tim Albery, who devised the show’s original concept. The award winning Michael Levine, one of Canada’s most internationally lauded theatre and opera designers, sets the scene and provides the vision for Eisler’s world. Lending his voice to the story is operatic powerhouse Russell Braun accompanied by Juno Award-winning pianist Serouj Kradjian. Braun, known for his luminous voice, is a familiar face in opera houses around the world for his melodic and compelling portrayals of many of the great operatic roles including Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin and Werther. Canadian pianist and composer Kradjian has established himself as a versatile, groundbreaking artist with a “fiery temperament and elegant sound…with technique to burn” (Frankfurter Allgemeine)