Award-winning actor and pianist Hershey Felder is currently performing Our Great Tchaikovsky at The Other Palace theatre. This is truly a one man show, with Felder writing, acting, singing and performing gorgeous classical symphonies on the piano. He was recently named in TIME Magazine’s top ten theatre artists for 2016 and it’s not hard to see why. Felder is extremely talented.
Our Great Tchaikovsky focuses on Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the composer of famous ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. His life is crowded in mystery especially as he was born in Russia, where homosexuality is still illegal. The show was created by Felder following an invitation by the Russian government to perform as the country’s national hero. Of course all notion of Tchaikovsky’s sexuality was removed from the perfomance.
The musical play explores Tchaikovsky’s life and the politics of 19th century Russia. There were plenty of scandals surrounding his life, for example his homosexuality (which Russia claims is untrue) and his inappropriate love for his young nephew, Bob. He wrote Bob’s Symphony for his nephew and this was one of the pieces I really enjoyed listening to.
The play ends with his final performance in 1893 in St Petersburg, Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”. Mysteriously Tchaikovsky died nine days after this performance. Was it suicide? Was it murder? Was it some diagnosed illness? We will never know but Helder does endeavor to try get to the bottom of this mystery.
Go watch Our Great Tchaikovsky and escape for an hour and 40 minutes to some of the most hauntingly beautiful music you will ever hear. Performing until the 21st of October 2017, you don’t have long to see this masterpiece of classical theatre.
The Other Palace
12 Palace St
Written by Tegan LeBon