Trials of Love
“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice”
Bigotry. Intolerance. Fear-mongering. Left unchecked, they proliferate like weeds in a garden, hand-in-hand with egotism and hatred. Today, in the midst of all the intellectual and humanistic progress that has benefitted society, prejudice and zealotry continue to rear their heads wherever there is a patch of fertile soil to nurture them. ERC’s new season, Trials of Love, revisits two iconic figures in the history of Western culture whose lives were profoundly affected by the stigma of intolerance. In our opening concert, Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart, the private drama of the great Russian composer, who lived in constant fear of exposure of his sexual preference, acquires an added poignancy in light of Russia’s aggressive stance against the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. The Trial of Oscar Wilde dramatizes the plight of an individual whose life was brought humiliatingly into the public sphere and destroyed in order to satisfy society’s hunger for punishing the outsider and the non-conformist. Together, these two productions bring to the fore the real and life-changing predicaments of two great artists, reminding ourselves of the need to confront zealotry through art and the cultivation of beauty, truth, and enlightenment.
March 5, 2014 - March 9, 2014
In a strange relationship that lasted fourteen years and that was conducted exclusively through letters, Tchaikovsky and his patroness Nadezhda von Meck were united through the invincible power of a disembodied love in which they both found refuge. Plagued with doubts about the greatness of his music, tormented by the fear of discovery of his homosexuality, and trapped in a marriage to a woman who was eventually committed to an insane asylum, Tchaikovsky found in von Meck an “invisible angel”. ERC honors their unique relationship in a theatrical concert featuring Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor and some of his most moving songs.Read More
June 19, 2014 - June 21, 2014
Oscar Wilde’s (1854-1900) personal life, brought into the glare of public scrutiny during his trial for homosexuality, intruded on society’s appreciation of his genius. Humiliated, exiled from society, and sentenced to two years of forced labor, Wilde became a thoroughly different person after his imprisonment. This theatrical concert focuses on Wilde’s prison ordeal and the two years that he spent in exile in Paris after being freed from the prison of Reading. A script based on his correspondence, plays, and short stories provide a dramatic backdrop for music by French and English composers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Read More