Actor/director/fashion designer/all-around Renaissance man John Malkovich will play Giacomo Casanova in The Giacomo Variations, the inaugural outing of the new Cherry Orchard Festival, set to play New York City Center May 30-June 2.
Described as a "chamber opera play," the work is adapted from the 1790 memoir of the famous Italian adventurer/author/lothario and follows Casanova in his later years as he attempts to discover why people are loved and desired. Written and directed by Michael Sturminger, The Giacomo Variations features opera scenes by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte.
Joining Malkovich, who is best known for his performances in the films Dangerous Liaisons and Being John Malkovich, are Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Daniel Schmutzhard, Sophie Klußmann, and Kristin Blaise. Martin Haselböck conducts the Orchester Weiner Akademie, which will accompany the performers on period instruments.
The Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation is devoted to introducing and promoting cultural activity and the exchange of ideas throughout the globe. The foundation's first annual Arts Festival, of which The Giacomo Variations is a part, was organized as an effort to create an ongoing dialogue between American audiences and international artists.