Peter Scolari & Max von Essen star in Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s “The Dreyfus Affair at BAM” April 27 – May 7

Peter Scolari

Celebrating its 16th season, the critically-acclaimed Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC) returns to BAM Fisher with a two-week run of The Dreyfus Affair. Emmy winner Peter Scolari, as Émile Zola, joins the cast

Peter Scolari

which includes Max von Essen (Tony nominee for An American in Paris) in the title role of Alfred Dreyfus , and Mark Evans (Irish Rep’s Finian’s Rainbow) as his devoted brother Mathieu Dreyfus, in this tragic tale of intrigue, undying love, conspiracy and political will, brought to life through the fusion of drama, history, and  music. Noted baritone Timothy McDevitt joins the cast as well, in the role of Lieutenant Georges Picquart.

“I’m really excited that Peter will be taking the crucial role of Zola,” expounds director Don Sanders, “Zola was an artist who embodied the temper of these times – and Peter exudes the same kind of knowledge and feeling for us.”

Also featured in are: Mark Andrew Coffin (as Commandant Hubert-Joseph Henry); Dee Pelletier (Madame Bastian); Meghan Picerno (Lucie Dreyfus); Daniel Rowan (Maximilien von Schwartzkoppen); Mark Light-Orr (Count Marie Charles Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy); and Richard Waddingham (Lieutenant-Colonel Mercer Paty de Clam).
Written by Eve Wolf, this multi-media production illuminates the controversial story of the 1894 treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus that had a decades-long reverberation in the political landscape of France and the rest of the world. The Dreyfus Affair revolved around the false arrest and imprisonment of the innocent Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), a highly decorated French Jewish officer. Traumatic soul-searching ensued and French society erupted into a fireball of anti-Semitism and political partisanship that called into question the very nature of French identity. Based on letters, diaries, memoirs, speeches, and accounts by the historical figures involved in the Dreyfus Affair, the poignant script includes text from Émile Zola’s newspaper article J’accuse, unquestionably the most important piece of journalistic writing that transformed the private plight of Alfred Dreyfus into an “affair” of national and international significance.
Through live chamber music, The Dreyfus Affair captures the human and sociopolitical drama of this turbulent period. The production includes the music of César Franck (1822-1890), considered a bastion of French chamber music and the composer who stands at the gateway of the revival of absolute music in France; Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), who was perceived to embody quintessentially French values; the venerable legacy of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), whose music was considered to be untainted by foreign influences, and excerpts from the politically charged opera La Juive by Jacques Fromental Halévy (1799-1862), one of the most successful Jewish composers in France during the 19th century.

The Dreyfus Affair is cast by Stephanie Klapper Casting. Sets and costumes are by Vanessa James, lighting design is by Beverly Emmons, projection design is by David Bengali, and sound design is by Matthew Hottinger. Ensemble for the Romantic Century and The Dreyfus Affair are general-managed by Aaron Grant Theatrical.

DATES: April 27 – May 7 ~ Thursday – Sunday @ 7:30 pm
Matinees – April 29 & 30 & May 6 & 7 at 2 pm
THEATRE: BAM Fisher (Fishman Space) ~ 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY
TICKETS: $55 & Up/Students & Seniors $40 (in-person only)
RESERVATIONS: BAM (718)636-4100

Ensemble for the Romantic Century, now in its 16th season, was founded by pianist Eve Wolf in 2001, with the intention of creating an engaging and innovative approach to chamber music concerts. ERC has, to date, created over 40 original theatrical concerts. ERC has partnered with or performed at institutions such as: BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA; The Jewish Museum of New York; the Archivio Fano of Venice, Italy; the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal; the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts/MIFA; the French Institute-Alliance Française/FIAF, New York; the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University; the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, and the City University of New York (CUNY). Since 2007, ERC has been a musicological affiliate in residence at the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at the CUNY Graduate Center, where ERC has established an annual series of interdisciplinary seminars for each of the Ensemble’s concerts. The seminar series is now officially recognized as one of the academic projects of the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation. ERC’s artistic excellence has been recognized through professional performance grants from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). These grants are a testimony to the growing recognition of the Ensemble as one of the most innovative chamber music groups in New York.