Under the banner “Kultur in der Kirche” St. Augustine’s organises and hosts a variety of cultural events.
7 April 2017: Rhapsody in Green – One Man Show with Mike Maran
Those of you who had the pleasure to see the talented Mike Maran perform last time at St. Augustine’s (with a one man version of Dante’s Inferno) will be thrilled to know that the man himself ist back (Mike, not Dante)!
Find out more about his current programme here – and mark your calendars for this event!
Coming home on the train three weeks ago from the APL Seminar in Munich we ran into Christopher Harbach, the coordinator of ISTA (International Students’ Theatre Association) at the American High School in Wiesbaden, who was astonished to hear that there was an “English Church” in his hometown.
When we told him who we are and what we do, he mentioned he was looking for a venue for a mime artist, Bill Bowers, who was coming from USA to instruct school kids in the art of mime at a Workshop in May at the American High School in Wiesbaden, and a few days later, our Church was booked for a special performance on Friday, 20th May.
“I’m from Missoula, Montana,” were Bill’s opening lines, and we were all immediately transported into a land of huge skies, bright moons, miles of emptiness, and large, quiet people, who worked hard to make a living off the land.
With nothing but a black backdrop for staging, Bill became a young boy, a Chaplin-like cowboy, an old man, and even his own mother before our very eyes! The transformation was baffling, as much as it was heart-warming, human and ultimately thought-provoking.
Three days after Bill’s performance, a good friend of mine who had attended the event, wrote me an email to thank me for the recommendation. “We are still talking about him”, she said. And that was what it was all about.
Thank you for a wonderful evening, Bill Bowers, you have won a place in our hearts. Next time you’re in Wiesbaden – drop by!
“Bill Bowers achieves what all performers most strive for: he becomes a conduit into the human soul.”
– Talkin’ Broadway
For more information – check out:
Le Roux for Lunch
Why did Jamala win the Eurovision Song Contest? Perhaps because viewers in their millions saw that she was sincere and serious about a serious subject. Not all musicians come across that way. One who certainly does is Erika Le Roux, a romantic pianist to her fingertips.
The 2016 season of her popular series of lunchtime concerts in St Augustine’s (the English Church), Wiesbaden, kicked off in style with Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt. No lollipops and no surprises, but rather an exemplary and personal programme of works Le Roux obviously cares about, and, more to the point, works that she could make her audience care about too.
As an overture, Schumann’s Papillons in a version for two hands. Iron butterflies, one might think, on first hearing the music. However, according to Schumann, the butterflies are the human butterflies at a Faschingsball. Apart from the “Invitation” and the “Finale,” each of the thirteen movements depicts a scene or a character from a romantic novel by Jean Paul. This is where Le Roux’s wide range of colour comes into its own. Subtle dancing figures, sometimes humorous, sometimes passionate, crotchety, sylph-like: the pianist didn’t miss a trick.
The last of Chopin’s Nocturnes (E-major), has not always met with critical esteem. For many years it was derided as showing Chopin’s failing powers and descent into self-imitation. No one in St Augustine’s had that impression. A strong “vocal” line runs through the piece, ending on a note of acceptance if not quite resignation. The “voice” sang with sadness and unremitting intensity – a notable interpretation.
And now something to bring the audience to its feet, Chopin’s last Ballade, the f-moll. This piece is mostly lyrical but ends with some fireworks. Bravura for its own sake wins no Eurovision Song Contests, but here we heard bravura in the service of a sustained musical idea. That has winning potential.
Then Liszt, three movements from the Années de Pèlerinage, Second Year. The three pieces chosen are among the slowest and most thoughtful in all three albums. In fact, the Petrarch Sonnet 104 became the slow movement between two slow movements. Naturally, speed is not important as long as intensity remains intact. Did Le Roux preserve intensity sufficiently to justify her unusual choice? The answer is yes. There was no sag, not for a second. Perhaps one day Le Roux will perform a whole Année in a single bash. That would be something to hear!
This was the first in a series of five concerts. It will be interesting to see what we have in store for us during the rest of the summer.
19 May 2016
For all dates see below.