Sunday, September 17, 2017, 7:00 PM
Direct from a hugely successful European premiere in Berlin at Literaturforum im Brecht-Haus, the celebrated duo of soprano Karyn Levitt and pianist Eric Ostling returns to New York’s legendary Metropolitan Room to explore and discover the treasures of Austro-German composer Hanns Eisler — Brecht’s favorite collaborator, Schoenberg’s best student, and Kurt Weill’s contemporary.
This program had its world premiere in 2016 at Café Sabarsky (in Neue Galerie) and received amazing reviews for performances at Metropolitan Room.
“At a time in history when the subject of the day is exile, American soprano Karyn Levitt has chosen a worthy example to build a one-woman cabaret show around.”
– Arts Review Europe
Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book
Illustration by Joan Chiverton
About the CD Eric Bentley’s Brecht-Eisler Song Book
Eric Bentley's Brecht-Eisler Song Book, released on ROVEN RECORDS, received a RAVE review from the Internationale Hanns Eisler Gesellschaft in Berlin. Read the full review!
“A highly successful new release... by Karyn Levitt, Eric Ostling, Brecht, Eisler and Eric Bentley – it comes with a warm recommendation, not only to English-speaking audiences.”
--Peter Deeg, Internationale Hanns Eisler Gesellschaft
This new CD is the culmination of Levitt’s journey, under the mentoring of Eric Bentley, into the world and music of Hanns Eisler. “I regard it as a privilege that in our numerous coaching sessions over the years, Eric Bentley has given me his unpublished translations of Eisler songs with words by Goethe, Heine, Eichendorff, Leopardi, Anacreon, Karl Kraus, and even Shakespeare,” says Karyn Levitt. “Eisler’s stylistic range is dazzling. Few composers have used Schoenbergian techniques to such lyrical ends, and few would dispute that Eisler was as important a song composer as Schubert. Brecht and Eisler were one of the 20th century’s great musical partnerships.”
Celebrated soprano Karyn Levitt and the Hanns Eisler Trio (William Schimmel and Ira Siegel, led by musical director Eric Ostling) performed to a sold-out house in the amazing Cafe Sabarsky. The audience LOVED the show!!!
Sirius XM Radio: Karyn Levitt
WBAI Radio Interview, December 3, 2015
Mark Laiosa interviews Karyn Levitt about Happy Birthday, Eric Bentley event and the new Eric Bentley’s Brecht-Eisler Songbook CD.
As theatre legend Eric Bentley entered his 100th year in September 2015, Royal Road Productions produced a centennial tribute in his honor. Michael Riedel emceed the historic evening, which featured the participation of Tony Kushner, Austin Pendleton, Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, theatre historian and president of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation; Roger Copeland; Michael Paller; as well as James Shapiro, Edward Mendelson, and Phillip Lopate of Columbia University.
The participants offered readings from Eric Bentley's classic works and shared their thoughts about Bentley’s influence on them personally and on American theater, music, and culture. Several Eisler-Brecht songs were performed along the way in English versions by Eric Bentley by Karyn Levitt with pianist Eric Ostling and The Hanns Eisler Trio. Songs for Mother Courage with music by Darius Milhaud in its original, unpublished orchestration for 14 chamber instruments and words by Bertolt Brecht in English versions by Eric Bentley, received its world premiere by Karyn Levitt with the Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra conducted by four-time Emmy winner Glen Roven.
Producer Karyn Levitt with Eric Bentley
Theater Talk: Josh Ellis and Eric Bentley's 100th Birthday (Eric Bentley segment starts at 15:25)
Royal Road Productions' mission is to conceive and present innovative musical-theatrical productions for the stage and in various media including television and film.