Yale drama and music schools team up for ‘The Soldier’s Tale’

Yale Schools of Music and Drama — in one of the largest collaborations ever between the schools — will stage Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale (L’Histoire du Soldat)” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

Yale Schools of Music and Drama — in one of the largest collaborations ever between the schools — will stage Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale (L’Histoire du Soldat)” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

Michael Cerveris, Tony Award winner and an alumnus of Yale College, will play the lead role of The Reader.
Michael Cerveris, Tony Award winner and an alumnus of Yale College, will play the lead role of The Reader.

The fully staged original production and new translation of Stravinsky’s darkly comic work will bring together School of Music faculty and student musicians with School of Drama faculty, student, and alumni designers, actors, and technicians.

A preview performance of “The Soldier’s Tale” will take place on Tuesday, April 1 at 8 p.m. in Morse Recital Hall, Sprague Hall, 470 College St. The play will be staged on Sunday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall. That production will conclude the School of Music’s 2013-2014 “Yale in New York” season.

Liz Diamond, Obie Award-winning resident director at Yale Repertory Theatre and chair of the Directing Department at Yale School of Drama, provided the new translation for “The Soldier’s Tale” and will also stage the production.

Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, an alumnus of Yale College, will play the lead role of The Reader. School of Drama students will perform the remaining three roles: Tom Pecinka as The Soldier; James Cusati-Moyer as The Devil; and Mariko Parker as The Princess. 

The production team includes scenic design by two-time Tony Award-winner Michael Yeargan, resident set designer at Yale Repertory Theatre and co-chair of the Design Department at Yale School of Drama; lighting design by Solomon Weisbard, a recent graduate of the School of Drama; costumes by Ilona Somogyi, costume design adviser at Yale Rep and a member of the School of Drama faculty; and choreography by Emily Coates, a lecturer in dance at Yale College. Overseeing the music direction is David Shifrin, professor in the practice of clarinet and chamber music

“The Soldier’s Tale” tells the bittersweet story of a common soldier’s thwarted homecoming at the hands of The Devil. Written in collaboration with Swiss librettist C.F. Ramuz, it has an eclectic score that ranges from modernist to jazzy, classical to folk. It was created during one of the most trying periods of Stravinsky’s lifetime, as he was struggling financially and distressed by the strife occurring in his homeland. The narrative mirrors Stravinsky’s own inability to return home (due to border restrictions after the Revolution) despite his successes abroad. 

“We are very pleased to foster this new level of collaboration between the Yale School of Music and Yale School of Drama, Yale’s two graduate professional schools of the performing arts, allowing the Yale students, faculty, and alumni participating in this project the opportunity to work side-by-side, deepening their knowledge of the intersection of music and theater,” said Robert Blocker, dean of the School of Music, and James Bundy, dean of the School of Drama in a joint statement. “And we are delighted to share their work with audiences both in New Haven and in New York this spring.”

Tickets for the New Haven performance of “The Soldier’s Tale” start at $25; $15 for students. Call 203-432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu for more information. Tickets for the New York performance are $30-$45. Call 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org for more information.

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Media Contact

Dana Astmann: dana.astmann@yale.edu,