An Adventure at Granny's [Little Red Riding Hood] (Gwyneth Walker)
In this classic adventure, the audience gets to practice their wolf-howl at a key moment.
Bremen Town Musicians (Kile Smith) was commissioned with Musicopia through a Community Partners Grant from American Composer’s Forum/Philadelphia and is based on a delightful tale from the Brothers Grimm that features four friends – a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster – on their journey to Bremen to become musicians.
The Emperor’s New Clothes (Andrew Waggoner) is another work based on the writings of Hans Christian Anderson. Set brilliantly to quirky and angular music, it recounts the tale of a vain emperor surrounded by sycophants who is brought down to earth by the innocence of a small child.
Ferdinand the Bull (Alan Ridout)
The beloved tale of a peace-loving bull in Spain accompanied by a flamboyant virtuoso solo violin.
Hansel and Gretal (Tom Kraines)
Employs vivid tone-painting using the rich expressionist vocabulary of early Schoenberg and late-Romanticism as a starting point.
How the Toad Got his Spots (Martin Kutnowski) sets a traditional Argentinean story of a toad who dared to dream the impossible with joyously circus-inspired music.
Lubin, from Chelm (David Yang) is a Jewish slant on a traditional English folk-tale (“Lazy Jack”) about a young man looking for work who is also a little slow on the uptake. It is the first in a cycle of stories that occur in the mythical Jewish city of fools known as Chelm.
Matzoh Ball Man (David Yang) is the last portion of Yiddishkeit served in this collection and brings together characters from all three previous Chelm stories along with the doctor from “The Prince Rooster.” It is modeled after the “The Gingerbread Man.”
Rumpilstilskin (Robert Capanna)
An atonal version of the twisted familiar folk tale Prince Rooster (David Yang) The traditional Jewish story of a Prince who thinks he is a chicken and the doctor who cures him.
The Princess and the Man with a Pure Heart (Thomas Whitman)
Has a heroine who, using her wits and courage, rescues her people from starvation. This mesmerizing piece uses a story from the Mahabharata and employs traditional music and harmonies from the island nation of Indonesia. The piece was commissioned in conjunction with Musicopia with funds obtained through a Community Partners Grant from the American Composers Forum/Philadelphia.
Rascally Rogue of the Beanstalk [Jack & the Beanstalk] (Eric Sessler)
The classic story with a twist – the audience gets to choose from one of four alternate endings
Three Fables (Gerald Levinson) are based on three short, fantastical poems by the brilliant and reclusive American poet Robert Lax. Their whimsical touch belies a profundity matched by the fiendishly virtuosic music. The poems are “Alley Violinist,” “Problem in Design,” and “The Old Magician.” The piece was commissioned with Musicopia through a Community Partners Grant from American Composers Forum/Philadelphia.
Three Wishes (David Yang) continues the Chelm cycle and follows the characters from “Two Brothers” later in the same day. It is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm story with the addition of an extended rap on kosher food.
Two Brothers (David Yang) is another piece in the cycle of stories situated in Chelm and concerns the misadventures of two hapless brothers, Mendel and Moishe, on their way home from work. It is a combination of the classic stories “The Milkmaid’s Tale” and “Hans in Luck.”
Ugly Duckling (Kenneth Woods) is a powerful setting of Hans Christian Anderson’s redemptive fable. It chronicles the difficulty for those who are different as they attempt to adjust to society and the sometimes-painful childhood quest to discover one’s true self.
The Warrior Violinist (Jay Reise) matches seductive music with the inner and outer journeys undergone by the hero in this story loosely based on a traditional tale from ancient Egypt. Commissioned with Musicopia through a Community Partners Grant from American Composers Forum/Philadelphia, this is a cautionary parable about the peril of yearning to be what you are not.