... echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine; my respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs
(from Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass).
Tomorrow night I will be performing Arnold Schoenberg’s graphic cabaret masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City. The show closes this year’s edition of MusicIC, a festival devoted to exploring connections between music and literature.
In addition to his literary and theatrical pedigree the commedia dell’arte Pierrot character has a significant place in the history of art. Schoenberg’s Viennese contemporary Egon Schiele created this tortured vision of the harlequin in 1914, shortly after the first performances of Pierrot Lunaire.