CHOPIN'S LAST TOUR

ONEONESIX - 116 Bank Street, Whangarei

05/10/2022 - 06/10/2022

Whangārei Fringe 2022

Production Details


Writer & performer Phillip Aughey


“Chopin’s Last Tour” is set in Scotland, 1848, the year before his death. He is in Scotland at the invitation of one Lady Jane Stirling who loves him.

It is the story of his life through his feelings and music, (live piano during the show). It answers the questions, “What was this man, who wrote such wonderful music, really like? What were his circumstances, what influenced him and who did he mix with?”

It is an attempt to humanise the genius, to give the audience an insight into the type of person he was. The play explains his upbringing, his family, the importance of Poland, his friendships and his lovers, his battle with illness, his conflicts and his trials.  An insight into the type of life he led.

A life that began as a child prodigy in Poland. Being a Pole he was influenced by the native folk music and customs, also by Poland’s political plight.

At the age of 21 he left Poland to further his career. He was never to return. He settled in Paris and soon had a reputation as a composer and teacher. He didn’t like giving public recitals, only giving 30 in his life time, but did thrive in Salons and drawing rooms of friends.

He was a very likeable, polite man with a quirky sense of humour. He was introverted and shy.

Even today he remains a romantic figure and this play explores the relationships with the women in his life.

This play features live piano. The pieces played have been carefully chosen to represent the different sections of his life.

It is an emotional piece, told as if he was writing a letter, thus it gives insight into his feelings.

If you love his music this is a must see show.

More information at www.anvilcreektheatre.com

 

ONEONESIX Bank Street, Whangarei
5 – 6 October 2022
6.30 pm
$25, $30
BOOK

 


Writer & performer Philiip Aughey


Theatre , Music , Solo ,


1 hour

An engaging autobiographical history lesson

Review by Alice Fairley 05th Oct 2022

A lonely chair and a piano greet us as we enter the theatre. The musician we have come to see is absent, but we catch a recording of the tail end of one of his recitals and soon the man himself emerges, offering thanks and apologies to an invisible audience behind the curtain. He is alone at last in his room, free to release the rattling coughs of his illness. Of course, he is not truly alone, for there is another audience waiting to hear what he has to say.

Despite his admitted shyness, Chopin (Phillip Aughey) proceeds to open up about his life, his loves, his frustrations and his fears. For most of us, what we know about Chopin is limited to his music, but this play offers a glimpse into his life and his humanness. We are given an opportunity to understand his feelings and motivations, and how they come to be reflected in his music.

Chopin confesses that his greatest fear is to be alone—a fear that is brought to the surface by his recently fractured relationship with the writer Aurore Dudevant, who goes by the alias George Sand. We also bear witness to his grief and anger over the fate of Poland, a country that he loves dearly and yet can never return to. Despite his bitterness and depression, Chopin maintains a sense of hope, still imagining his future even as his death bears down upon him.

Chopin’s Last Tour is essentially an engaging autobiographical history lesson. Aughey plays Chopin charmingly, with a strong Polish accent that takes a bit of getting used to. Perhaps the real treat of the play is the snippets of Chopin’s music played on the lonely piano, ending with Nocturne No. 20 in C Sharp Minor—a familiar melody to many, and beautiful. It is a baring of his soul: “a place that is forbidden for it is not yet perfect.” Indeed, Aughey may not play the piece perfectly—although perhaps we may attribute any mistakes to Chopin’s “affliction”—but it is lovely nonetheless and contains that kernel of hope Chopin carries with him throughout the play.

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