The PCO, under the direction of Maestro Yaacov Bergman, will be joined by the Portland Phoenix Chamber Choir and soloists Danielle Sampson, Hannah Penn, Zach Finkelstein, and Zachary Lenox. Performances are Friday December 14 at First Baptist Church, Saturday, December 15 at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Hillsboro, and Sunday, December 16 at All Saints Catholic Church.
Musical Potpourri Concert on March 31st—
THE MONSTER, Notes by the composer—
This piece tells the story of Frankenstein’s Monster, from the perspective of the creature himself, excerpted from Mary Shelley’s original 1818 novel, Frankenstein. When we read Shelley’s novel, we were impressed with the beauty and eloquence of the Monster’s language as he speaks to his maker, Victor Frankenstein, and describes his experience. We were also impressed by the deeply poetic and genuine connection that the Monster feels with the natural world—the changing of the seasons, the birds and beasts in the forest, which do not outright reject him, but do highlight the fact that he is the only one of his kind. This Monster is a very different character than the one portrayed in almost every movie and pop culture reference that we could find, and we wanted to give him a chance to speak through this project. We have not elaborated upon Shelley’s tale, but rather distilled the essence of the Monster’s narrative out of it. The bracketed text below is a synopsis of events portrayed in each movement. The italicized text, sung by the choir in movements one and three, is directly from Mary Shelley’s text.
There is an eerie timeliness to Mary Shelley’s story; in particular the way that human beings have increasingly rearranged the natural world to their own ends, recombining it or polluting in it often with little concern for long-term consequences. A friend of ours connected recent headlines (the oil spills, the super-storms and wildfires due to climate change) with this story and noted about our culture: “We are Frankenstein.”