Odysseus and Ajax
The Club
April 14 - 23, 2006
Friday - Saturday 10:00pm
Sunday - 5:30pm
Tickets $15

Box office 212.475.7710

A puppet-theater production of Martin Halpern’s chamber opera Odysseus and Ajax, with puppets created by Tom Lee. The musical ensemble includes soprano Heather Green, mezzo-soprano Judith Barnes, tenors Kurt Alakulppi and Aram Tchobanian, baritones Robert Weintraub and Peter Clark, bass Andrew Martens, and pianist Lin Li. Puppeteers are Yoko Myoi, Karen Elizaga, Neimah Djourabchi, Elisa Hevia, Alexis MacNab, Lyndsay Abromaitis-Smith, Ayako Dean. Performer includes Marina Celander as Athena. Costumes by Kanako Hiyama, Llighting by Miranda Hardy and Assistant Design by Kimi Maeda.

Kuruma Ningyo style

The production combines an ancient Greek story in a contemporary musical setting with set designs and puppetry based on Mr. Lee’s study of the Hachioji kuruma ningyo style in Japan. The puppeteers will operate puppets with their hands and feet from small wheeled stools while the words and music are performed simultaneously offstage. The April 14th and 15th performances will feature live singers and piano – the following performances will be performed to a recorded score.

In adapting Sophocles’ play Ajax for his libretto, Mr. Halpern has focused on humanistic themes that still resonate today: the sufferings of the common man compelled to fight in a war not of his making; the impermanence of the human condition, subject to forces that can alter it, for better or worse, at any time; and the idea that extreme egotism, when thwarted, can drive an otherwise worthy man like Ajax to madness and then to suicidal despair, while a man like Odysseus, responding to higher moral guidance, can curb his ego and act toward those less fortunate than he with empathy and charity.

2006 page