The New World Symphony: Dvořák in America with Marionettes

  • Bohemian National Hall Historic Ballroom 321 East 73rd Street New York, NY, 10021

A new marionette musical by Vit Horejs, composer James Brandon Lewis and the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, (CAMT) based on the famed Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's eventful stay in America in 1892-95. Performed by puppets composed from musical instrument parts, live actors, and musicians in the historic ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall. Fun for ages 7 to 107! 

Presented at The Bohemian National Hall by GOH Productions & The Dvořák American Heritage Association.

General Admission to be paid at door: $20; Seniors, Students, Czech Center Club Members $10.

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Photo Credit: Deborah Beshaw

Photo Credit: Deborah Beshaw

"The New World Symphony: Dvořák in America"

A message from Vit Horejs:

My new Dvořák project has been brewing for eighteen years, since my company's production of Rusalka based on his eponymous opera. Dvořák was instrumental in the development of American music, and as Director of the new National Conservatory of Music of America in New York, he left an indelible mark.  I have been dreaming about a marionette musical that would explore the influence of African American and Native American music on Antonín Dvořák, who was far ahead of his time when he declared, "The future music of this country must be founded upon what are called Negro melodies." The New World Symphony, inspired by these musical sources, has become one of the most frequently performed symphonies worldwide, and rings in the ears of all Czechs. 

Working with a stellar team of artists and consultants, we are creating a performance based on researched details about Dvořák and his legacy of students, and their students, tracing a history of influence all the way to Duke Ellington, Art Tatum and George Gershwin.  

My new play, The New World Symphony: Dvořák in America, tells an important story of 19th century cultural interaction with classical, jazz and rock music accompaniment.  The performance features antique marionettes and puppets composed from musical instrument parts, my company of actor/puppeteers, and musicians from renowned saxophonist James Brandon Lewis's trio. New music by Lewis is inspired by Dvořák.

Sponsored by:

In addition to the Dvořák American Heritage Association, this production is supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council and from Council Member Rosie Mendez, and LaMaMa Theatre. Additional support from The Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association; Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences, New York Chapter; Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic; Materials for the Arts (a program of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York City Department of Sanitation).