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First Person: Seeing America
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"Knight’s spellbinding delivery of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address gave it new meaning... Accompanying each reading were fabulous black and white photographs by famous photographers that visualized the period... the icing on the cake, the thing that brought the house down, was the music.... In short, magic was created" (complete review)
Gazettes.com

"As read by Conan and voicing partner Lily Knight, the texts came to vivid life.
... Equally effective were the beautifully wrought melodies and rhythms of Ensemble Galilei. Providing spare yet haunting overtures to each half of the program as well as interludes and dramatic backdrops for much of the narration"
LJWorld.com

"Images breathtaking in their beauty and grandeur filled the stage...stylistic, well balanced... a thoroughly enjoyable program"
Palm Beach Daily News

"Drawing on its rich repertoire of traditional Celtic music as well as Italian and Spanish diversions, the sextet moved back and forth between the sublime and the stirring, juxtaposing poignant airs and courtly melodies with vibrant jigs, reels and cantigas.... the ensemble had no difficulty fashioning an alternately lyrical and lively soundtrack, one that made colorful use of hand percussion, fiddle, oboe, recorder, Scottish small pipes, Celtic harp and viola da gamba."
The Washington Post

"The juxtaposition of Celtic music with breathtaking images of the universe might seem at first like melodramatic entertainment more suited to a PBS pledge drive than to the dignified environs of the Leighton Concert Hall, but the Ensemble Galilei is not a lightweight musical group."
South Bend Tribune

"the six-strong Celtic ensemble (comprised of two violins, viola, folk flutes, harp, viola da gamba and percussion) bonded words and images into a cohesive and moving whole."
LJWorld.com

"... a lovely blend of instrumental music on A Winter's Night....The most charming aspect of the collection, however, is the way the Ensemble Galilei weaves all of these melodies into a 55-minute tapestry broken only by an
enthusiastic audience response between each piece."
DIRTY LINEN folk/world magazine


"Ancient Noels is one of the years' best...a mystical majesty fuels both stately medieval processionals, sprightly Dutch and Basque carols."
The Washington Post

"Medieval and Renaissance tunes, beautifully rendered..."
San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Members of the Ensemble Galilei consider the pursuit of this ancient music as a labor of love."
The Baltimore Sun


"The players, each a soloist in her own right, blended perfectly with the historic ambiance of the church and captivated the audience from opening to encore." The Ventura Star

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First Person: Seeing America                                                             

                                                                                            
First Person: Seeing America This beautifully staged concert with actors and large-screen projections illuminates the American experience from the Wild West to the Civil War, through the Great Depression to the gift of freedom. This finely crafted work seamlessly incorporates poetry and prose by some of the country's finest writers with iconic photographs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, extraordinary performances by two actors, and the soulful music of Ensemble Galilei. "In short, magic was created" Gazettes.com

Newly directed by Casey Stangl, First Person: Seeing America tells its story with photographs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the words of famous Americans including James Agee, Frederick Douglass, Calamity Jane and Abraham Lincoln, poetry by Lucille Clifton, Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser, and music by Ensemble Galilei. Photographs from the Met's collection include the iconic works of Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Ansel Adams and Arthur Rothstein as well as many others. The soundtrack is the music of Ensemble Galilei – traditional music from Sweden, Scotland and Ireland, and new compositions featuring fiddle, Celtic harp, viola da gamba, banjo, percussion and oboe. First Person: Seeing America.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Musuem of Art photography department, this program features large-screen projected images by some of America’s finest photographers, the poetry and prose of some of America’s greatest writers delivered by two guest actors, and the music of Ensemble Galilei.

Stage, film & television actors Rob Nagle, Lily Knight and Bill Pullman have toured this show with Ensemble Galilei (Mr. Pullman even did a tour while simultaneously filming his new television show). Newly directed by Casey Stangl, First Person: Seeing America tells its story with photographs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the words of famous Americans including James Agee, Frederick Douglass, Calamity Jane and Abraham Lincoln, poetry by Lucille Clifton, Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser, and music by Ensemble Galilei. Photographs from the Met's collection include the iconic works of Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Ansel Adams and Arthur Rothstein as well as many others. The soundtrack is the music of Ensemble Galilei – traditional music from Sweden, Scotland and Ireland, and new compositions featuring fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, banjo, percussion and oboe.

From its inception in 1990, Ensemble Galilei has redefined the boundaries of chamber music, created new work, seized opportunities for collaborative relationships and consistently pushed the envelope in a series of innovative projects that explore combinations of images, words, and music.

After taking audiences into space through the lens of the Hubble Space Telescope (A Universe of Dreams) and on journeys of exploration and discovery with pictures from the National Geographic Image Collection (First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World), Ensemble Galilei now look
s to home. With images by some of America’s finest photographers, and the poetry and prose of some of America’s greatest writers, the group’s ambitious new project is First Person: Seeing America.

Begin with the strength, diversity and depth of the photography collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: photographs by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Helen Levitt and others. Take those images and accompany them with the words of Jim Harrison, James Agee, Frederick Douglass, Calamity Jane, and more. The soundtrack is the evocative
music of Ensemble Galilei – traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and Sweden; from the Renaissance, Michael Praetorius, and new compositions, featuring fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, percussion, banjo, whistles and oboe.

Transcendent and soulful music winds around the text as high-resolution images are projected on a large screen in the center of the stage. Two actors brilliantly bring people, events and places to life. What people! The haunted faces of rural Americans as they struggle to survive the Dust Bowl, indelible portraits of Native Americans. The events that shaped a nation - the Civil War, the Great Depression, the immigrant experience. And what places – from the sidewalks of New York to the majesty of Yosemite. Great photographers captured it all – hardship, war and despair, and the gritty determination of extraordinary people in a magnificent land. This is what
  these extraordinary photographers saw – First Person: Seeing America.

Actors appearing with Ensemble Galilei in First Person: Seeing America --

Actress Lily Knight appears on stage in Los Angeles and New York (Broadway and Off Broadway). Her film work includes roles in Changeling, Around the Bend, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, AI. She has appeared on over 50 television shows, including Big Love, Saving Grace, The Mentalist, Boston Legal, Weeds.







Actor Rob Na
gle's film credits include The Soloist, Life As We Know It, Fun With Dick and Jane, and tv credits include appearances on Mad Men, Meet My Mom, The Middleman, Everwood, and more. 

Mr. Nagle alternates with Adrian LaTourelle.






Adrian LaTourelle
has appeared onstage from the Mark Taper Forum to Yale Repertory Theater. His television credits include Castle, Last Resort, The Closer, House, NCIS: LA, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, Numbers, and Sons of Anarchy. He is the voice of the evil Unalaq on Nickelodeon's Avatar: Legend of Korra.

Mr. LaTourelle alternates with Rob Nagle.





ALSO TOURING:

A Universe of Dreams
Ensemble Galilei with actress Lily Knight & Images from the Hubble Space Telescope
 

A Universe of Dreams is music, poetry and stories with actress Lily Knight and features projected images from the Hubble Space Telescope. With evocative music inspired by the Hubble images, the performers present the perfect backdrop for works by some of the finest poets in America. Audiences have been swept away by this extraordinary combination of the spoken word and what has been described by critics as "....music that speaks to the heart in ways that transcend mere language." Text from Stanley Kunitz, Jim Harrison, William Shakespeare, and a re-telling of a Navajo Creation Myth are all performed with images from the Hubble that have transformed our understanding of the universe.

"At times, the pairing of poetry and galactic photos was nearly overwhelming, as when a swirling cosmic cloud served as backdrop to Stanley Kunitz's "The Science of the Night": "My touch is on you, who are light-years gone/We are not souls but systems, and we move/In clouds of our unknowing/like great nebulae."

In its best moments, "A Universe of Dreams" made the problems of people -- indeed, our entire planet -- seem incomprehensibly insignificant and the mysteries of the universe unfathomably vast."
South Bend Tribune



A Winter's Night

Ensemble Galilei & NPR's Neal Conan

Available in December as a winter solstice/holiday event. A Winter's Night features Ensemble Galilei with NPR's Neal Conan as host, narrator and reader. Including text by Ogden Nash, May Sarton, Jim Harrison and others, this seasonal offering presents humorous and heartfelt stories and poems set with music. This concert-length performance is perfect for the holiday season. Ensemble Galilei performs Irish, Scottish, Early and original music on a variety of ancient and modern instruments, including the Celtic harp, viola da gamba, fiddle, recorders, whistles and percussion.


 

Photo at top, right: Walker Evans (American, 1903–1975), Alabama Tenant Farmer, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 23.6 x 18.7 cm (9 5/16 x 7 3/8 in.). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Jennifer and Joseph Duke Gift, 2000 (2000.329) © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

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