A short Q&A with Jennifer Fawcett

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 18, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Daily Iowan: How did you get involved in MusicIC?

Fawcett: This is my second year working with MusicIC. Last year, Tricia Park and Judith Hurtig commissioned me to adapt Tolstoy’s novella, The Kreutzer Sonata, and create a play that incorporated Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata (Violin Sonata No. 9) and Leoš Janáček’s Kreutzer Sonata (String Quartet No. 1). This year, they asked me to write a play about the famous musical couple, Clara and Robert Schumann. Both were respected musicians, and their great love for each other, as well as the later tragedies in their lives, has long been a story I’ve been interested in adapting for the stage. For this performance, we are focusing on the years leading up to their marriage. The music that is being woven into the piece includes six lieder, four by Robert and two by Clara, and Robert’s String Quartet No.3 in A minor.

DI: What do you contribute to MusicIC?

Fawcett: The goal for what I’m doing with MusicIC is to bring the words of the play and the music together so that they support each other. The hope is that by watching the play, the audience gets a better understanding of the artists who created the music.

DI: What are you most excited about for this festival?

Fawcett: Being able to work with professional musicians playing live on stage is a real treat and adds a tremendous amount to the words I’ve written. I’m really lucky because I get to work with all but one of the musicians in this year’s festival. In just a few days of rehearsal, I’ve developed a real respect for their tremendous talent, and I look forward to hearing them in the other concerts.
Last year’s project made me fall in love with Janáček’s work, so I’m especially eager to hear his String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters,”[today].

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