June 7, 2007
Two musical ‘inventors’ get Felder fanfare
(Page 2 - Previous Page)In 2005, the success of "Gershwin" allowed Felder to stage the debut of his less commercial show, "Monsieur Chopin," which revolves around an actual music lesson that the composer gave in his opulent salon at 9 Square d'Orleans a year and a half before his death. While ascending the staircase to his salon, Chopin had run into his ex-lover, Sand: "He had not seen her for a year," Felder says. "He wanted something, and she wanted something, but they were prevented from getting together because of the influence of their friends."
Felder conducted meticulous research in order to create the show; among other efforts, he consulted a top Chopin scholar and visited places where the composer lived and worked. He stood outside the salon on the Square d'Orleans and in the once-abandoned monastery in Mallorca where Chopin, Sand and her two children spent a miserable winter after being evicted from their previous quarters (the landlord had discovered that Chopin was a consumptive). Felder even dyed his hair blond to match the lock that Sand had kept in her pocket, in a scrap of paper labeled, "Poor Chopin."
"I do create the dialogue for both my characters," Felder says of his solo shows. "But the basis for everything is history."
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