New York City
Written in 1918, and set to music by Igor Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring), with libretto by Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, The Soldier’s Tale is based on a Russian folk tale about a soldier who makes a deal with the devil, trading his fiddle for a book that predicts the future. The narrative is an anti-war Faustian fable, making the piece a highly relevant work for today. Workshopped at Aurora in December 2010, this piece "to be read, played, and danced" features four musicians performing a re-imagined version of Stravinsky’s visionary score, two actors, a life-size puppet, and Muriel Maffre dancing in her Aurora stage debut, as well as acting as puppeteer. In 2006, Seattle Times music critic Melinda Bargreen called the initial performance of the piece "both visually and musically mesmerizing, as fresh as new paint and as exciting as a newly minted classic."