Director R.B. Schlather, in a joint effort with the vocal chamber group IlluminArts, presents a weeklong rendition of David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Little Match Girl Passion, at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). The performance marks the latest in a series of collaborations with local museums and galleries to create immersive shows that give life to — and are inspired by — visual art. This time, the creative team was inspired by the work of Colombian sculptor Doris Salcedo (whose exhibition is on display at PAMM).
“We were drawn to pairing David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion with Doris Salcedo’s work because both creators, Lang and Salcedo, comment on the importance of dualities in their work, highlighting suffering as well as hope,” IlluminArts artistic director Amanda Crider says.
Salcedo's work takes an abstract look at harsh social inequalities and injustices, particularly those that affect Central and South American countries. Her renderings are stark forms ripped from everyday objects. The ordinary items are imbued with meaning and convey a sense of loss, loneliness, and isolation.
Doris Salcedo, Plegaria Muda (detail) (2008-10): Wood, concrete, earth, and grass.
Courtesy of Pérez Art Museum Miami
Like her work, Lang's 2008 interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl recalls the story of a young girl's struggle with abuse and poverty. Overcome by her circumstances, she remains resolute in her faith that things will get better.
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Unlike previous performances by IlluminArts, these weeklong rehearsals will be open to the public. This will allow a unique dialogue between audiences and actors. Not to be outdone by an incredibly open production process, the cast features world-renowned soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird and countertenor Brennan Hall.
The whole series kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25, with an open music rehearsal at Merrick Park's Steinway Gallery and a cast meet-and-greet at Ted's at YoungArts this Thursday, May 26. The experience culminates June 2 with a free public presentation at 7 p.m.
The Little Match Girl Passion
Open rehearsals Friday, May 27, through Tuesday, May 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. daily at PAMM. Free with museum admission. The final performance takes place June 2 at 7 p.m. Visit illuminarts.org.