NEW YORK — “Gorky’s Dream Garden” will be performed at the Newark Museum of Art in a site-specific Love Songs Showscape chamber preview on Saturday, September 7 at 2 p.m. (with a pre-concert spectacle at 1:30 p.m.). The exclusive 80-minute show will take place at the museum’s elegant Billy Johnson Theater and will be free with museum admission.
Created by award winning composer Michelle Ekizian, “Gorky’s Dream Garden” comes to life with a cast of performers from Broadway, opera, film and dance.
The opera is based loosely on the story of the visionary artist Arshile Gorky, whose Newark Airport Murals are a part of the Newark Museum’s collection.
Born Vostanig Adoian in Van, Turkey in 1904, the artist died in Connecticut in 1948. He was a child witness to the horrors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. He came to America in 1920, and fabricated the persona of Russian royalty, and as a nephew of Maxim Gorky. Concealing his Armenian identity and his inner laments and hopes from all, except his sister through letter correspondences, he captured a young society, Bostonian wife and a slice of the American Dream. He became a founding father of New York’s dynamic abstract-expressionist art movement of the 1930s and 40s.
Despite loss and misfortune (fire, cancer, marital infidelity, car crash), and his untimely death at age 44, Gorky’s groundbreaking abstract and figurative paintings transitioned darkness and pain into color and light. His art is an everlasting representation of the enigmatic complexities of the Genocide survivors.
In this first-ever concert-event of the new musical theater opera “Gorky’s Dream Garden,” virtuoso musicians, dancers and actors will be enhanced by visuals crafted especially for its performance site.