Popular actresses, Sara Kestelman and Jemma Redgrave, will perform alongside the Orchestra in the UK premiere of Liszt’s One Hundred Years Ago (Vor hundert Jahren), conducted by Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits.
Jemma Redgrave, whose recent stage credits include Mood Music (Old Vic), An Ideal Husband (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Donkey’s Years (Rose Theatre), is best known for television roles in Doctor Who, Holby City and Grantchester, and Film roles in Love and Friendship and Howard’s End. She will perform the role of Poetry.
Olivier award-winning actor Sara Kestelman has worked across theatre, film and radio. She has performed extensively with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing alongside Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon and Patrick Stuart, among others. She can be heard reading BBC Radio 4’s current Book at Bedtime – Testaments, Margaret Atwood’s Booker Prize shortlisted novel and long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Sara will perform as Germania.
Internationally renowned composer and writer Gerard McBurney is working with the BSO to realise the dramatic conception of this unpublished work. He described it:
“Vor hundert Jahren was composed as part of the pan-Germanic celebrations in 1859 marking the centenary of the birth of Friedrich Schiller. Familiar to music lovers as the author of ‘Ode to Joy’, Schiller was not only a great poet and playwright, but a political philosopher who had a deep influence on the new dream of German Unification. For this melodrama for actors and symphony orchestra, Liszt’s friend and colleague, Friedrich Halm, created a high-flown libretto, in which the tragic character of ‘Germania’, left alone in the mountains, bewails the pitiful state into which the German people and their culture have fallen, before the figure of Poetry appears, to take her on a tour of Schiller’s works, showing how they offer comfort and inspiration for the nation’s future.” Gerard McBurney