Ensemble for the Romantic Century brings to life the story of conductor Arturo Toscanini who bravely opposed Fascism in Italy and America, in this solo drama with music starring John Noble. More…
Toscanini refusal to perform in Italy and Germany, and his trips to Palestine to conduct an orchestra made up of Jewish refugees made headlines around the world. Drawing on his passionate letters to his lover, the young Italian pianist Ada Mainardi, along with music by his contemporaries, this theatrical experience shows us that even during one of the darkest chapters in human history, an artist’s voice can be heard.
“The Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s production of ‘Maestro’ aptly highlights all...central components of Toscanini’s brilliant artistry...The integration of the concert level performances by the amazing musicians and the solo performance by Noble who inhabits Toscanini...makes for an unparalleled memorable evening which will thrill you to your core...Just gobsmacking...A breathtakingly beautiful remembrance of a time and artist we must never forget.” Full Review
“A music lovers’ delight, the play uses world class musicians, visual art and narrative to explore the Maestro’s life...The scenes are cleverly designed to follow the world-renowned conductor...The string quartet utilized in the play effectively conveyed the Maestro’s passion and suffering...The Maestro’s passion for music is encapsulated in every nuance of the play...’Maestro’ reminds us the power we all have, and the difference an individual can make.” Full Review
"The whole is even more a treat when the music is inserted...Li’s reading of Wagner’s 'Liebestod' in the Liszt version is worth the price of admission...Considered from a strictly dramatic perspective, 'Maestro' leaves something to be desired. Considered from a musically dramatic perspective, Maestro is completely satisfying, particularly for theater patrons so devoted to that pursuit that they don’t get to concert halls regularly enough." Full Review
"The storyline may not fully satisfy all playgoers. It is largely episodic, and the main dramatic conflict is a political one. Toscanini was appalled by the rise of fascism in Italy, in the person of the brutal Benito Mussolini. In the early 1930's, he refused to conduct the fascist anthem, and he turned down Adolf Hitler's request that he conduct at the Bayreuth music festival. Eventually, he fled Europe and resettled in the United States, living in Riverdale, New York, where he died in 1957." Full Review
"The artistic choice of addressing the audience in this manner brings home Toscanini’s temperament, but felt unpleasant, which admittedly, may have been the point...The best part of 'Maestro' is the music. Each selected piece is brilliantly performed...Perhaps choosing to convey a man’s life mainly through his frustrated love letters diminishes the scope of a man, especially a man such as Arturo Toscanini. However, the music of 'Maestro,' is another story altogether." Full Review
"The actor playing Toscanini hasn’t a musical bone in his body...Within the first five minutes...I wanted out...Noble as Toscanini, is an unintelligible, one-dimensional, inconsistent actor...The play tries to subliminally equate the holocaust with the immigrants of today, which I find highly insulting...What does work is the brilliant chamber orchestra...Their playing is exquisite... Bravo however to the brilliant musicians and Bengali for his creative projections that are haunting and timely." Full Review
"When in one letter, Toscanini reveals an amusing anecdote about his father - and ultimately his own conception - you wonder why Wolf thought we wouldn't want to know much more his personal life. After all, Toscanini lived until he was nearly 90, had numerous musical accomplishments, and knew many people, important and otherwise. Unquestionably, his hatred of dictators was a large factor in his life, but it shouldn't be his defining characteristic." Full Review
“The cheese-fest that is ‘Maestro’ represents a good concert smarmified...Toscanini unfortunately – and unfairly – comes across a braggart with regard to his admirable antifascist activism...The script’s insistent focus on the erotic noodlings of a randy old goat does not lend itself to originality, much less profundity. Classical concertgoers who require a special sauce might find this overheated stew palatable. At least it provides a showcase for a cadre of skilled musicians.” Full Review
"Unfortunately, the result here is a disjointed presentation that lacks the cohesive flow of a biographical drama, a traditional full-length concert, or even an academic lecture...'Maestro' is most successful in its contrast between the expressive beauty and power of the music and the ugliness of bigotry and war, in the creative versus the destructive behavior of humankind. In essence, it is more effective as a moralizing mood piece than a narrative." Full Review
"Even that dry description is more exciting than what Ms. Wolf and her director, Donald T. Sanders, put onstage. The text is a clip job, consisting almost entirely of excerpts from Toscanini’s letters and other documentary bric-a-brac. As all of it comes from his point of view, we have no way to evaluate its validity — and the play has no way to spark any drama...The interludes add nothing to the story; indeed, they actively subtract from it by suggesting an overly literal link." Full Review
See it if If you like classical music played by very talented young musicians and if it doesn't bother you that the music bears little in the plot.
Don't see it if you really want to know something about Toscanini or if you'd like to see the actor playing him actually have some idea how to conduct music
See it if You love classical music and enjoy hearing live performers.
Don't see it if THe script is lacking and the main actor overacts. If you can get a cheap ticket, go.
See it if you want to see a good performance, but ineffective play. The ensemble of musicians are wonderful and John Noble plays Toscanini well.
Don't see it if you don't like classical music. There are more music scenes than dialogue. Writing not challenging enough to take advantage of great actor.
See it if Well-told, interesting synopsis of Toscanini's life coupled with marvelous music in the hands of wonderful musicians especially the pianist.
Don't see it if The music, while beautiful, did not always add to or move the story along. If you're not interested in history or biography.
See it if you enjoy classical music. Story and acting are ok but nothing special. It rambles but is interesting to a degree
Don't see it if you are looking for a thorough, well paced bio play.This drags. Too much music, too little story.
See it if you like classical music (more concert than play), you are interested in Toscanini or in Nazi history and its effects on Italian citizens.
Don't see it if you expect a plays and are not interested in a musical concert or you are sensitive to Italian Nazi history and its effects.
See it if You want to hear chamber music you likely haven't heard before, exquisitely played; you like an impressionist piece of multimedia theater
Don't see it if You want a linear plot (or any plot), you actually want to learn about Toscanini and what made him great
See it if you are interested in Arturo Toscanini and his times, his strong anti-Fascism, or if you love chamber music. All musicians are virtuosos!
Don't see it if you don't like classical music (there is quite a bit in this performance) or don't like plays about historic events and people/musicians.
See it if You want a wonderful theatre experience. Nearly flawless! Speaker system issues. A great history lesson you probably didn’t get in school
Don't see it if I cannot think of a reason. Live music. Rhapsody in Blue is surprisingly super. It’s music history as well as a history lesson. Love if it!
See it if A well integrated mix of good acting, beautiful classical music, history, and well designed supplemental film and graphics.
Don't see it if You prefer large casts, rather than a one man show.
See it if John Noble is engaging as Toscanini.An excellent quartet plays classical music & a lovely Rhapsody in Blue.Newsreels add historical context.
Don't see it if If you are not a fan of history . Not much to dislike. It was a memorable evening of music and history. Relax and enjoy!
See it if you love the Arts, reknowned musicians, classical music, audio/visual arts, art deco style, history and Toscanini. Feast for the senses.
Don't see it if closed off to classical music, WWII, Facism, Nazis, the axis of steele, the plight of the Jews or the Italian maestro who railed against it.
See it if If you love classical music and chamber music you'll enjoy this show enormously.
Don't see it if you expect a story with a message and do not appreciate classical music.
See it if You enjoy non-traditional storytelling. You like classical music. You have some familiarity w/Toscanini. You want great musical performances
Don't see it if You prefer more dialogue-driven storytelling: this is a concert w/monologues delivered to the audience. You don't like classical music.
See it if you enjoy a drama using music and video to tell the story of a very talented and courageous man, Arturo Toscanini.Very clever use of music.
Don't see it if you do not like classical music or are not interested in Toscanini's life.
See it if You want to see someone fight fascism through music and nonviolence. Very relevant to today!
Don't see it if You do not like chamber music or nonlinear Dialogue.
See it if you love music. Two violins, one viola, one cello, piano, trumpet play exquisitely. That alone is enough to enjoy this show.
Don't see it if you get don't want live classical music. The book of the show disappointing as is the mumbling of the single character who is Toscanini.
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