The International Street Cannibals Presents:

“The Easily Satisfied Lover”


Sunday, March 31st, 2019, 3:30 PM @ St Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery

Tickets are $20. General Admission/$15 for seniors, students & children at door.

Ariadne Greif, soprano; Elinor Rufeisen, conductor; Jessica Jade Han, flute/piccolo; Sammy Lesnick, clarinet/bass clarinet; Derek Ratzenboeck, violin/viola; Dan Barrett, cello; Conor Hanick, piano

The new music ensemble, International Street Cannibals (ISC), presents “The Easily Satisfied Lover” – an evening of vocal works from the period of early modernism, which turns its lens on archaic male narratives of romance and reframes them through the voice and sensibility of a 21st century woman. Central to the evening is the performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s monodrama, Pierrot Lunaire, op. 21 (1912) – a fantastical setting of 21 poems by Belgian symbolist poet Albert Giraud and freely translated in German by Otto Erich Hartleben. The program is a creation of soprano Ariadne Greif, Los Angeles-based director Gray Palmer, and ISC’s founder/director Dan Barrett. It features conducting by maestro Christopher Lyndon-Gee; film footage by Swiss-Japanese filmmaker Caroline Mariko Stucky, especially created for this performance; and technical direction and stage management by Tyler Learned.

Inspired by Pierrot, a descendant of the Italian commedia dell’arte, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is scored for a female singer/reciter, accompanied by five instruments. It features free atonality and Schoenberg’s innovative style of vocal delivery, Sprechstimme (partly spoken, partly sung). The work is unique in that the vocalist is given the dual roles of a man telling his love for a woman, and the woman as the “object” of his love. Hartleben’s thorough rewriting of the original poems is infused with a stark expressionist palette and sexual, hallucinatory, and sometimes violent imagery. Treating the text as “found art,” the performance will pinpoint and underscore its inherent and unilateral objectification of women. It will also mine the gender ambiguity of the performer and offer many double entendres by turning the extremely vivid and sensual elements of the work on their head.

“Pierrot is sometimes a fictional storybook character, sometimes a deeply relatable caricature, and sometimes a real person the narrator seems to know or identify with,” says Greif. “With this Pierrot Lunaire, we want to reframe these antiquated male narratives of love as child-sized fables, but with a wider perspective.” Combining an early silent movie aesthetic with a childlike sensibility, Caroline Mariko Stucky’s film features surreal, moonlit, and non-narrative tableaux that continuously play with the notion of scale, while mimicking the symbolic landscapes and panoramas of the text.

Also included in the evening are lieder and songs reflecting other male narratives of romance, composed by Schoenberg and some of his contemporaries. These include two songs from Schoenberg’s cabaret song cycle, “Brettl-Lieder”; a chamber arrangement of Alban Berg’s “Lied der Lulu” from Act. 2 of Lulu; and the gleeful self-abnegating French song, “La femme est faite pour l’homme” (“Women are made for men”), made popular by actress Arletty in Max de Vaucorbeil’s movie, Une idée folle (A Crazy Idea, 1933). The concert will end with Greif’s rendering of Sholom Secunda’s Yiddish song, “To Me You’re Beautiful” (1932) –an unexpected affirmation of feminine sexuality in that period.


Arnold Schoenberg "Galathea” (1901) from Brettl-Lieder, no. 7;
text by Frank Wedekind

“Der genügsame Liebhaber” (1901) from Brettl-Lieder, no. 1;
text by Hugo Salus
Ariadne Greif, soprano; Nara Avetisyan, piano

Alban Berg “Lied der Lulu” from Act 2 of Lulu (1929–1935);
arr. by Jonathan Keren;
text adapted by the composer from plays of Frank Wedekind
-Ariadne Greif, soprano
-Elinor Rufeisen, Conductor
-Ensemble: Jessica Jade Han, Flute/Piccolo
-Sammy Lesnick, clarinet/Bass Clarinet
-Derek Ratzenboeck, Violin/Viola
-Dan Barrett, Cello
-Conor Hanick, piano

Casimir Oberfeld
“La Femme est faite pour l’homme” (1934);
text by René Pujol & Charles Louis Pothier
-Ariadne Greif, Soprano
-Conor Hanick, Piano

Arnold Schoenberg
Pierrot Lunaire (“Three times Seven Poems from Albert Giraud's Pierrot lunaire”)
trans. by Otto Erich Hartleben -Ariadne Greif, Soprano
-Elinor Rufeisen, Conductor
-Jessica Jade Han, Flute/Piccolo
-Sammy Lesnick, Clarinet/Bass clarinet
-Derek Ratzenboeck, Violin/Viola
-Dan Barrett, Cello
-Conor Hanick, Piano
Film by Caroline Mariko Stucky

Sholom Secunda “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” (1932)
text by Jacob Jacobs
Ariadne Greif, Soprano
Conor Hanick, Piano