W.H. Hudson's Green Mansions and Villa-Lobos Earth Day Celebration
Monday, April 23, 2012
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
Scheduled the day after Earth Day, this special event brings together authors Amy D. Ronner, Sy Montgomery, and Alexandra Jamieson, as well as musician and composer Alfred Heller to explore the cultural and environmental dimensions of Green Mansions (1904). Participants will discuss the classic novel by naturalist William Henry Hudson-a tale of romance set in the Amazon rainforest-and its relationship to Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. This program is part of a year-long, citywide festival celebrating the 125th anniversary of Heitor Villa-Lobos's birth.
In 1959, Villa-Lobos created the score for the Green Mansions motion picture starring Audrey Hepburn, Anthony Perkins, and Lee J. Cobb. The scored was filled with the sounds of nature and the folkloric melodies drawn from the diverse cultures of his country. Since Villa-Lobos was not only a masterful composer, but also a great storyteller through music, his score infused Hudson's compelling story with passion and sensitivity. While the film did not have critical success, Hudson's novel further inspired the composer to create a symphonic poem from his film score, which he retitled Forest of the Amazon. Following the Earth Day celebration, the Villa-Lobos festival will culminate with a dance work inspired by Villa-Lobos' music and Hudson's Green Mansions, continuing the historical relationship between the composer's music and dance.
Karen Cottrell, creator of the Green Mansions Project, will introduce the program. Amy D. Ronner, author of W. H. Hudson: The Man, The Novelist, The Naturalist (AMS Press, 1986), will address the subject of Hudson and his work from a literary perspective. Sy Montgomery will show images and speak about her journeys through the Amazon in the company of pink river dolphins, discussing what they revealed to her about the "Green Mansions" of the flooded rainforest-both its past and future. Alexandra Jamieson, author, chef and holistic nutrition expert, will talk about the vegan diet of Rima, the protagonist of Green Mansions, as well as sustainable lifestyle choices today. Finally, Alfred Heller will conclude with a performance of Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras Number 4, Second Movement. This program will be conducted in English.
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In collaboration with The Villa-Lobos Music Society, Inc, the Rainforest Conservation Fund, and InterAmericas®. We also thank the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at Columbia University and the King Juan Carlos Center at New York University for helping us publicize this program.
Admission Fee: FREE for AS Members; $10.00 for non-members.