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THE HUNCHBACK VARIATIONS NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW
Opening Night: June 10, 2012
Did He Like It?*
The Hunchback Variations dramatizes a hilarious and melancholy panel discussion between Quasimodo, hunchback of Notre Dame, and Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, on their attempt to create a mysterious sound effect called for in Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. Playing out over eleven musical scenes, or "variations," the story details the duo's collaboration -- one doomed by their deafness, unpleasant working conditions, and the fact that Beethoven has not fully committed to the process.
Beethoven and Quasimodo Put Their Heads Together
*By ZACHARY WOOLFE
Published: June 10, 2012
"Variations pose a challenge for a composer: take a theme — a melody, bass line, whatever — and progressively transform it, but never beyond recognition. It’s harder than it sounds to change while staying the same. In a blog post about Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” the pianist Jeremy Denk writes, “Think very similar thoughts for 79 more minutes, winding around the same basic themes, and then you will have some idea of what it’s like to experience — you might even say survive — the ‘Goldbergs.’ ” You would also have some idea of what it’s like to experience, not to say survive, “The Hunchback Variations,” a cutely but tediously absurdist chamber opera with music by Mark Messing and a libretto by Mickle Maher at 59E59 Theaters. "
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