NAXOS TO RELEASE PETER BOYER’S
ELLIS ISLAND: THE DREAM OF AMERICA MAY 17th
Celebration of the Immigrant Experience Features Performances
by Hollywood Stars Olympia Dukakis, Barry Bostwick, and Bebe Neuwirth
Naxos of America celebrates the immigrant experience with the release
on May 17th of Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island:
The Dream of America, an ambitious work combining spoken word
performances of actual Ellis Island immigrant stories with powerful orchestral
music. Performed by London’s renowned Philharmonia Orchestra
conducted by Boyer, this recording features a cast of Oscar-, Emmy-, and
Tony-winning actors: Barry Bostwick, Blair Brown, Olympia Dukakis,
Anne Jackson, Bebe Neuwirth, Eli Wallach, and Louis Zorich,
directed by Tony- and Grammy-winning Martin Charnin.
Boyer fashioned the seven monologues of Ellis Island: Dream of
America from interviews in the Ellis Island Oral History Project
with actual immigrants who came to the United States between 1910-1940,
weaving a dramatic orchestral tapestry around their true stories.
The work concludes with a reading of the Emma Lazarus poem The New
Colossus (“Give me your tired, your poor…”),
an emotionally powerful ending to this celebration of our nation of immigrants.
Ellis Island: The Dream of America was premiered by
the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in April 2002 to great acclaim, and
its many subsequent performances have also received enthusiastic responses.
Gerald Moshell of the Hartford Courant described the first performance
as “a searing emotional experience” while Harold McNeil
of the Buffalo News described the piece as “at turns, horrifying,
whimsical and heart-rending. But it’s always palpably engaging
On July 23rd, Olympia Dukakis and Barry Bostwick join
the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Irvine, California at the 12,000-seat
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater to perform Ellis Island: The Dream of
America. Other orchestras performing the work in the 2005-06
season include the Battle Creek Symphony, Lafayette Symphony, Fox Valley
Symphony, and Elgin Symphony, which will feature the work as the centerpiece
of its American Festival.
Peter Boyer is emerging as one of the most successful young
American orchestral composers, with nearly 100 orchestral performances
of his work to date. In addition to his work for the concert
hall, Boyer is active in the film and television industry and is on the
faculty of Claremont Graduate University.
PETER BOYER: ELLIS ISLAND: THE DREAM OF AMERICA
Peter Boyer, Philharmonia Orchestra
Barry Bostwick, Blair Brown, Olympia Dukakis, Anne Jackson, Bebe
Eli Wallach, Louis Zorich, directed by Martin Charnin