The Kingston Chamber Music Festival, now in its 34th season, is excited to bring the Dover Quartet to The United Theatre as one part of a three-concert residency in Rhode Island this July.
Memoir is a 75-minute performance of musical theater by GRAMMY® Award winning composer Steven Mackey, directed by Mark DeChiazza, and performed by the Dover String Quartet, percussionists arx duo, and narrator Natalie Christa.
Memoir is an adaptation of composer Steven Mackey’s mother’s memoir which gives the process and the product a heightened personal connection. The script is a series of short vignettes which trace Elaine Mackey’s life as a first-generation American, born in Steel Town USA, coming of age in the Great Depression, escaping an ill-fated Hollywood marriage to work for the Department of Defense in post-war Europe and raising a family in Northern California in the volatile 60’s. Memoir covers familiar themes of love, loss, gender roles, and social mores ensconced in her intense personal struggle with alcoholism and its stigma.
“The combination of the Dover Quartet and arx duo (percussion) is ideally suited for Memoir. There are plenty of opportunities to employ the grave expressivity idiomatic to the string quartet as well as the playful spirit, wit and irony made possible by the surprising variety of sounds available to a percussion duo. The string quartet has a particular knack for warm, emotional and profound musical expression and the diverse, often surprising timbral possibilities of the percussion duo brings witt, irony, and a playful spirit to the stage.” –Steven Mackey
Steven Mackey – a GRAMMY® Award winner lauded by Gramophone for his “explosive and ethereal imagination” – is regarded as one of the leading composers of his generation, with compositions ranging from orchestral and chamber music to dance and opera.
Mark DeChiazza– director, filmmaker, designer, and choreographer. Many of his projects explore interactions between music performance and media to discover new expressive possibilities. His work can bring together composers, ensembles and musicians with visual artists, dancers, music ensembles, and makers of all types.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Hailed as “the next Guarneri Quartet” (Chicago Tribune) and “the young American string quartet of the moment,” (New Yorker), the Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom in 2013, following a stunning sweep of all prizes at the Banff Competition and has since become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world.
Mari Yoshinaga and Garrett Arney are the artistic force behind “arx duo.” Their mission is to forge new connections and artistic pathways, or “arcs,” through percussion chamber music. They are dedicated to expanding percussion chamber music by commissioning new creative works, educating and inspiring young artists, and inviting audiences across the globe to engage with new and vibrant musical experiences.
Natalie Christa is a Pennsylvania native (like Elaine, the alter ego she portrays in Memoir). She received early training as a classical and music theatre vocalist with coach, Susan Rheingans (Los Angeles Music Center Opera, New York Opera Forum) into her late teen years. Driven by the Philadelphia music scene, she sang and played bass guitar, keyboards, and tambourines in local bands as well as began her acting career in many musical theater performances such as the lead in Annie. With Memoir, Natalie ventures into the contemporary concert music world, bringing her intriguing voice, innate musicality, and theatrical instincts to bear in the role of Elaine, an ordinary woman leading an extraordinary life in the 20th Century.