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Costello's Dream on Stage

Fellow Elvis Costello Fans: Elvis has done it again! This category-defying alternative rocker has written a sophisticated symphonic score based on a balletic version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. Costello himself was surprised to be asked to write dance music. "Who is your favorite dancer?" Elvis was asked. He replied honestly, "Cyd Charisse."

Costello's collaborations with the Brodsky Quartet, Annie Sofie von Otter, the Composer's Ensemble, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Mingus Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Symphony gave Costello the necessary facility to write Il Sogno (The Dream).

Costello states that "I deliberately set aside modern composition methods involving computers, preferring a pencil and paper. The 200-page score was completed in approximately ten weeks; my orchestrations may not obey certain conventions, but they sound just as I imagined them. I have learned by listening. I'm just using common sense and writing down what I want to hear."

The score features some of Costello's favorite instruments: the hammer dulcimer and the vibraphone. It also calls for improvisations from the soprano saxophone and a jazz drummer.

The Alexandria Symphony will compliment Costello's daring by performing his work in a dramatic presentation. with actors from the Shakespeare Theatre's Academy for Classical Acting.

Oh, and yes, even if you've never heard of Elvis Costello you will likely be moved by this engaging and enchanting work.