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Artemisia: Light and Shadow

October 24, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

Artemisia: Light and Shadow

A one-woman multi-media show on the life of 17th-century painter and feminist heroine Artemisia Gentileschi

Saturday, October 24 at 7:00 pm
509 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

A life more dramatic than an Italian opera: trained in art by her father, sexually assaulted as a teenager, Artemisia Gentileschi survived a sensational trial to become an internationally renowned painter, and the secret lover of a Florentine nobleman.

Join ARTEK for this special live-streamed fully-staged performance at Roulette featuring the brilliant Sarah Chalfy as Artemisia!

ARTEMISIA: LIGHT AND SHADOW is written by Nahma Sandrow, directed by Paul Peers, and accompanied by Gwendolyn Toth on harpsichord; original lighting by Chenault Spence and costumes by Carol Sherry.


This event will be live-streamed free, but a suggested donation of $25 is requested. Donors will receive a color pdf program in advance of the event. 

Information on where to access the live-stream will be added to the website one week before the event, but to be sure you receive the link, send us an email at artekearlymusic@gmail.com and we will email you the link directly 24 hours before the performance.

Sarah Chalfy, soprano, is an active performer on a variety of musical stages, from Off-Broadway theatres to concert halls to cabaret and rock venues like Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Knitting Factory, Galapagos, and Don’t Tell Mama. She created the title role in Kim D. Sherman’s opera ADA. The prior season, Ms. Chalfy created the role of Nellie Bly in David Friedman/Peter Kellogg’s new musical Stunt Girl. She performed the role of Madeleine X in the LA world premiere of Michael Gordon’s opera What to Wear, conceived, designed, and directed by avant garde theatre legend Richard Foreman. She has collaborated with some of NYC’s hottest new music ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, Newspeak, and NOW. She also performed Gordon’s chamber opera Van Gogh, which she recorded on the Cantaloupe label with Alarm Will Sound. A Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, she was soloist in Berio’s Sinfonia with Robert Spano and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Craig Smith and the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Recognized as one of America’s leading performers on early keyboard instruments, ARTEK founding director Gwendolyn Toth tours and records each summer on historic instruments in Europe.  As a respected conductor and music director, Gwendolyn Toth has conducted at Sadler’s Wells Theater in London for the Mark Morris Dance Group; at Skylight Theater in Milwaukee with Stephen Wadsworth; at Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City with Rhys Chatham; and at Astoria Music Festival in Oregon. She led Bach’s B minor Mass with the Washington Bach Consort, and in 2017 she was Music Director of the Virginia Best Adams Vocal Master Class at the Carmel Bach Festival.

Nahma Sandrow’s opera Enemies, A Love Story (based on I.B.Singer’s novel), for which she wrote the libretto with composer Ben Moore, premiered at the Palm Beach Opera in 2015.  Theater credits include the book of the musical comedy Kuni-Leml, for which she won the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the musical Vagabond Stars, which won the Villager Downtown Award. A PEN-nominated grant from the New York State Council on the Arts supported her translation of Shulamis, a classic Yiddish operetta, which was subsequently performed at Harvard University. She is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Research Foundations of the State University and the City University of New York.

Paul Peers is a stage director whose work spans theatre, musical-theatre and opera. His opera directing debut was Handel’s Xerxes for Grammy nominated Boston Baroque. Mr. Peers’ international directing credits include David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross for the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Shakespeare’s King Lear for Lightning Strike Theatre Company; Amon Miyamoto’s production of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul for Vancouver Opera; and Geöffnet for the Dosto Projekt in Berlin. Mr. Peers was a resident Artist at the HERE Arts Center, New York where he created and developed in collaboration with composer Matt Marks an opera-theatre piece about the courtesan-spy Mata Hari.

Costume designer Carol Sherry has worked on Flamingo Court at New World Stages, Fabuloso by John Kolvenbach and The George Place by David Johnston at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, and The Bubble and Gemini the Musical for New York Musical Theater Festival. She also designs wigs and worked with Forbidden Broadway for eleven years. Previously, she designed ARTEK’s costumes for both Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo and for its I’ll Never See the Stars Again at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Chenault Spence lighting design, is renowned throughout the world as lighting designer for ballet, opera and theatre, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, with which he has been associated as a lighting designer for forty years and The Philadelphia Opera. With The Alvin America Dance Theatre he designed the ballets of Mr. Ailey and distinguished guest choreographers.

Additional technical assistance from Dongsok Shin and Abigail Hoke-Brady.

The vocal music sung by Artemisia in the show is excerpted from the following sources:
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)
From Cantate, ariette e duetti, op. 2 (1651): Grande Allegrezza (arranged Gwendolyn Toth)
From Diporte di Euterpe ovvero Cantata e ariette a voca sola, op. 7 (1659): Lagrime; Pensaci ben mio core; Per un bacio
From Arie a voce sola, op. 8 (1664): Cieli, stelle; Che si può fare
Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676)
From the opera Artemisia (Venice, 1657): Ardo, sospire; and various recitatives arranged/rewritten by Gwendolyn Toth
Additional instrumental music is excerpted from works by Luzzasco Luzzaschi (c.1545-1607), Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1554/1557-1612) intabulated by Bernhard
Schmid II (1535-1592), Cristofano Malvezzi (1547-1599) intabulated by Schmid, and Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (c.1580-1651).

NYC Cultural Affairs
New York Council on the Arts

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