“Chopin & Liszt in Paris” is the latest “musical film” created by Hershey Felder, widely known to Chicago audiences for his years of live performances in the city. Felder portrays the flamboyant Liszt, but he performs a great deal of Chopin’s music as he spins the story of his complex artistic relationship with that composer.
For the past few years, the prolific, multi-talented Hershey Felder — who forged his career in the U.S., and then moved to homes in Paris and Florence — has taken a new direction in the form of an ever-expanding series of what he has dubbed “musical films” that are available for screening on the web.
The “musical film” is a fascinating look at the creation of “The Marriage of Figaro,” the first of the composer’s three major operas in Italian.
In “Nicholas, Anna & Sergei,” Hershey Felder fully captures the “history, pride and melancholy of the Russians” with the fervor Sergei Rachmaninoff carried with him to the end. And he plays the composer’s sweeping music to magnificent effect.
How do you tell the story of a musical genius whose operas are among the most beloved works in the Italian opera canon? If you are Hershey Felder, you create something unabashedly in the grand opera style that also manages to be hugely accessible for audiences still distanced from live performance by COVID-19.
Streaming through Sunday, “Before Fiddler” is the latest of the many remarkable feats of musical storytelling from Hershey Felder, the multitalented writer, actor, pianist and producer renowned for his solo shows about composers.
For several decades, Hershey Felder has created a series of richly theatrical biographies of great composers. His latest work, “A Paris Love Story,” follows that essential pattern but adds a heartbreaking layer of autobiography.
The multitalented actor, pianist (and yes, composer in his own right) brings the eighth installment in his renowned “Great Composers Series” to Chicago in June and simultaneously makes his Goodman Theatre debut.
For those still unfamiliar with the magic Hershey Felder can create, an introduction to the man, whose enthralling show about Tchaikovsky is now in a limited engagement at Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre, is essential.
Hear what viewers had to say about our interview with Hershey Felder, our story on outsider artist Lee Godie and our showcase of creatures from ReptileFest when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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“Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” returns to Chicago’s Royal George Theatre this week. Pianist and actor Hershey Felder joins us in conversation and performance to demonstrate the timeless appeal of the great American songwriter.