Preview: "Collaboration of Cleveland cultural giants adds a new play to the repertoire"

Brett Mitchell in rehearsal with The Cleveland Orchestra at the Allen Theatre, April 2016.

Brett Mitchell in rehearsal with The Cleveland Orchestra at the Allen Theatre, April 2016.

NPR affiliate WKSU has produced a preview of The Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Play House's world-premiere collaboration, The Good Peaches.

Brett Mitchell, associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, is in charge of the music. Logistics have been challenging and rehearsals intense in this joint endeavor. “This is absolutely a major collaboration, as it should be to celebrate Cleveland Play House’s centennial.” ...

Mitchell knew the plot twist needed dramatic but contrasting music, both tempestuous and contemplative. “My task,” he says, “was to see if I could find some repertoire already written that might help tell the story.” To evoke the violent storm, he chose the crashing crescendos of Benjamin Britten’s “Sea Interludes” from the opera “Peter Grimes.” But when Aurora’s whole world changes, the music does, too.

“Everybody she knows, everything she knows has disappeared after this storm,” says Mitchell. “And as Aurora starts to feel her way through this new world and try to get her bearings, that’s when we make the shift from the kind of full orchestra cacophony of the Britten to the very minimalist textures of just the string section.” Strings alone play John Adams’s “Shaker Loops.” ...

“We’re trying to blend this great art form that the Cleveland Orchestra does so exceedingly well with a new medium, to create something that’s perhaps greater than just an orchestral performance or just a theatrical performance.” 

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