Boston-born actress Uma Thurman will join soprano Renée Fleming, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, and the Emerson String Quartet in the world premiere of composer André Previn’s final work, “Penelope,” at Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall on July 24.
Previn, a German-born composer and conductor whose work took him through Hollywood studios, concert halls, and jazz clubs, was reportedly close to completing the music for the new piece when he died in February at the age of 89. Inspired by the character from Homer’s “Odyssey,” “Penelope” is a Boston Symphony Orchestra co-commission created in collaboration with playwright Tom Stoppard, who wrote the libretto.
Thurman, who is best known for her roles in movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and the “Kill Bill” series, will assume the new role of narrator. The narrator’s part was added to the score after Previn’s death, when the composer’s close friend David Fetherolf realized that Previn had not decided whether some portions of the libretto were to be sung by the soprano soloist or recited. Fetherolf, an editor at Previn’s publisher G. Schirmer Inc., completed the score working alongside Fleming, Dinnerstein, and Emerson String Quartet violinist Eugene Drucker.
Zoë Madonna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten. Madonna’s work is supported by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.