Award-winning puppetry innovators, Blind Summit (London, UK), are delighted to announce that they have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to present Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, on Tuesday 20 August 2019. It is part of a Russian programme for the orchestra’s Classical Tuesday Series, conducted by Bramwell Tovey and narrated by the critically acclaimed stage and film actor John C. Reilly.
Fully utilising the cameras and the huge live relay screens around the world renowned 17,000-seater venue, the ambitious new puppet-led production from Blind Summit’s artistic director, Mark Down, will use the whole Bowl as its stage. The close up, on screen visuals will not only give the audience a more immersive experience, the action will assist in bringing Prokofiev’s popular music to life, making it brighter, fuller and more alive throughout the 30-minute production.
Peter, a three-puppeteer operated, life sized ballet puppet, will skip through the crowd, which becomes the big green meadow, jumping on tables and climbing over the audience. The other characters, brought to life by masked dancers, will appear from different places all over the Bowl before gracefully moving around the arena as the heroic tale unfolds. The bird pops up at the back of the orchestra, which transforms into the tree, while the cat slinks into view and relaxes at the base of the tree. The duck waddles round the edge of the pond (the Passerelle) filled with the dining audience; and the wolf appears seductively from behind the narrator and begins to skulk around the big green meadow and the pond seeking out its prey.
The narrator, played by John C Reilly, is also fully involved in the action of Blind Summit’s production. As a visiting dignitary he is there to present Peter, a boy who exemplifies the ideals of a pioneer and an example to all, with a medal. With a pair of binoculars becoming the narrator’s point of view, relayed onto the big screens of the Hollywood Bowl, he finds the characters around the arena and the instruments within the orchestra as he introduces them one at a time. Using the binoculars to capture the action around the arena, he recounts Peter’s brave exploits to the gathered crowd before the final medal presentation.
Mark Down, Artistic Director of Blind Summit said: “I was hugely excited to be asked to make a puppet interpretation of Peter and the Wolf at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil. When I first listened to Peter’s theme, I immediately saw a three-man operated puppet skipping on stage. In a workshop the music really came alive when we interpreted it as ballet. The formal stylised mime language made it sound witty, playful and full. Our production fast developed into a puppet ballet.
“I see Peter and the Wolf not so much as a fairy tale, but as propaganda to promote classical music. It can also be seen as propaganda for the ideals of the Soviet Union in 1936 which gave us the concept of a medal giving ceremony. This also inspired us to look to the Socialist Realist art of the 1930s, to create visually what we heard Prokofiev doing musically.”
Blind Summit’s production of Peter and the Wolf was commissioned by the LA Philharmonic. It is directed by Blind Summit’s artistic director and master puppeteer, Mark Down, together with co-designers Ruth Paton and Fiona Clift, who have collaborated on a number of Blind Summit productions, and with choreography from Daniel Hay Gordon (The Royal Ballet, Staatsoper Berlin and Sadler’s Wells).
Talented puppeteers Laura Caldow, Fiona Clift and Sean Garratt will bring Peter to life alongside the other characters played by masked dancers, Patricia Langa (Bird), Sean Murray (Duck and Hunter), Will Thompson (Cat), Ruben Brown (Wolf) and Eleanor Perry (Grandpa).
Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: [email protected] | M: +44 (0)7913 951717
Rehearsal images of Blind Summit’s Peter and the Wolf. Please credit TMAX Productions.
Further images can be viewed and downloaded by going to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hpt8kcckt4kxflk/AAASCOkdNzImesUKNkJV1qRSa?dl=0
Notes to Editors:
Blind Summit’s Peter and the Wolf
PETER AND THE WOLF
By Sergei Prokofiev
Commissioned by the LA Philharmonic
Directed by Mark Down (Blind Summit)
Narrated by John C Reilly
With the LA Philharmonic
Conducted by Bramwell Tovey
Part of a Russian Programme for The Classical Tuesday Series:
TCHAIKOVSKY : Waltz from Sleeping Beauty
PROKOFIEV : Peter and the Wolf
BORODIN : In the Steppes of Central Asia
TCHAIKOVSKY : Orchestral Suite No. 4, “Mozartiana”
At the Hollywood Bowl, 2301 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068
On Tuesday 20 August 2019 at 20.00
Blind Summit is a London-based, internationally touring producer of multi award winning puppet-based theatre; creating puppet history under the vision of Artistic Director, Mark Down, one of the world’s leading puppeteers. For twenty years, in collaboration with a cohort of exceptional trained puppeteers, makers and designers, Blind Summit have consistently subverted people’s expectations of puppetry with their own unique performance style. They have also drawn plaudits in a series of landmark opera and theatre productions; collaborating to create the breath-taking puppetry.
Blind Summit’s acclaimed productions and collaborations include The Table (2011-present); Madam Butterfly (ENO, Met Opera, LNOBT, 2005-present); Le Rossignol (Bregenz Festival, 2014); The Magic Flute (Bregenz Festival, 2013-14); A Dog’s Heart (Complicite, ENO, DNO, La Scala, 2010-14) and the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony (2012).
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blindsummit @blindsummittheatre
Twitter: https://twitter.com/1blindsummit @1blindsummit
About the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
The LA Phil, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber, and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music, and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through June and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, learning, and community programs.
About the Hollywood Bowl
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2018, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the 14th year in a row at the 29th Annual Pollstar Awards and in November 2018 was awarded the Top Amphitheater prize at the 2018 Billboard Live Music Awards for the second consecutive year. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer. https://www.hollywoodbowl.com
About Bramwell Tovey
Trained at the Royal Academy of Music as a pianist, composer, and tuba player, Tovey became a prominent U.K. ballet conductor in the 1970s and ’80s. He has since been Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, and (currently) the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (He was also Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.) His compositions include concertos for viola and cello, Requiem for a Charred Skull (which won the Juno award for Best Classical Composition in 2003), the score for Richard Bell’s film Eighteen, two commissions for the Canadian Brass, Urban Runway (a Los Angeles Philharmonic co-commission), and the opera The Inventor. http://www.bramwelltovey.com/
John C. Reilly – The Narrator
John C. Reilly has been acting in theatre since he was a child and has been acting in films for the last 30 years. He is an alumnus of DePaul University.
Some notable films he has appeared in include Casualties of War, State of Grace , Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, The Thin Red Line, The Perfect Storm , Gangs of New York, Chicago, The Hours, A Prairie Home Companion, Talladega Nights, Walk Hard, Step Brothers, Cyrus, Wreck It Ralph, Kong: Skull Island,
The Sisters Brothers and Stan & Ollie.
Theatre credits include Grapes of Wrath (Chicago and Broadway), A Streetcar Named Desire (Chicago and Broadway), True West (Broadway), Exit the King, Little Egypt ( Los Angeles) and most recently Gather (Pasadena).
John has been acknowledged by The Academy, The Tonys, The Grammys and The Golden Globes.