Although a piece of straight theater, the play features music by César Franck, Maurice Ravel, György Ligeti, Jacques Fromental Halévy and Jean-Philippe Rameau. McDevitt is performing two arias from Halévy's La Juive, both tenor arias transposed to a baritone key.
Written by Eve Wolf and directed by Donald T. Sanders, the multi-media production tells the controversial story of the 1894 treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus that had a decades-long reverberation in the political landscape of France and the rest of the world. Eve Wolf told The Jewish Week that this show resonates with what's happening today with the still-precarious position of Jews in France to the wrongfully detained prisoners at Guantanamo. The Dreyfus Affair, she said, “is connected to Vichy France and to the rise of Marine Le Pen; it’s a line that never breaks.”
|Lieutenant Georges Picquart and Tim McDevitt|
The plot evolves around the false arrest and imprisonment of the innocent Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a highly decorated French Jewish officer. Traumatic soul-searching ensued and French society erupted into a fireball of anti-Semitism and political partisanship that called into question the very nature of French identity. Based on letters, diaries, memoirs, speeches and accounts by the historical figures involved in the Dreyfus Affair, the script includes text from Émile Zola’s newspaper article J’Accuse, unquestionably the most important piece of journalistic writing that transformed the private plight of Alfred Dreyfus into an “affair” of national & international significance.
Performances of The Dreyfus Affair run through May 7th and tickets are available online.
After his run in The Dreyfus Affair, McDevitt will be premiering new songs by composer Georgia Shreve with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall on May 19th. Additional information in available online.