Dear Professor Haine,
Thank you for your email.
As theatre director of The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center I was commissioned to create a musical theatre piece to run concurrent with its 2003 International Surrealist Exhibition, "Brave Destiny." That project is the US version of "Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel," so I placed it in front of a US monument with French influence. The symbology of this monument resulted in my play being more inspired by, then an adaptation of "Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel." In addition to the concept and script I also provided an original score consisting of three dances and three songs.
The Statue of Liberty is on Bedloe Island near Manhattan. Ferries daily carry tourists there. What the statue represents is not without controversy because our U.S. welcoming of immigrants has, sadly, become more guarded, not to mention the fact that since September 11th, 2001, the statue itself remained closed to visitors for security reasons. It was partially reopened in August of 2004.
The question of who officiates the marriage of "Bride" and "Groom" is what "The Marriage at the Statue of Liberty" is about, with Ms. Liberty herself, completing the ceremony. It is night. The last tour boat leaves. The still unmarried couple remains on Bedloe Island, but are they alone? As a seagull is about to fly into her copper frame, Ms. Liberty flexes her body to allow it to safely pass. Since she sees the gull, she must be able to see us, reasons the couple below. Where others have failed, Ms. Liberty will prevail. She comes to life to complete the ceremony. The couple is married at last! Bride and Groom are Old World supplicants of Colossus. Having found one another, they seek new world religious independence to sanctify their new bond to one another. They escape from their cloister. Vulcan, the God of Fire, shields them. He discovers they suffer from "The Mortal Tedium of Immortality" (Cocteau's line at the end of "Blood of a Poet.") Vulcan advises the couple that to marry they must regain their mortality, and to do so they must pass through the eternal flame. And where is the eternal flame? The nearest eternal flame is in the torch held by the New Colossus (as Emma Lazarus calls her), The Statue of Liberty.
Unwilling to lose supplicants, Colossus and his eternally unmarried fiancée, Colossa, masquerading as tourists, go chasing after Bride and Groom to scuttle their marriage ceremony.
A DVD of the 2003 production is available, featuring the beautiful nocturne that concludes the play. I am not sure about TV compatibility but it will be playable on your computer.
My previous effort to pay homage to Cocteau may be found in my monologue with song cycle entitled, "Doping the Blood of a Poet."
As a composer, I would love to add to the occurrences of Cocteau texts set to music, and will be honored if you would suggest a text for me to set.
Very truly yours, Peter Dizozza
Separate Attachment: The performance program including ballet descriptions.
Dear Mr Peter Dizozza, I am writing a Catalogue of Jean Cocteau’s Texts set to music. So far I have recorded some 600 occurrences. I came across your production Marriage at the Statue of Liberty which is inspired by Cocteau’s play. I would like to ask you a few questions: 1°/ Could you please tell me what parts of Cocteau’s play you kept in your production, or if your play is completely something else. As far as the characters are concerned, I could see that some of them were kept (Bride, Groom). 2°/ On which translation of the play did you base your production? 3°/ As to the music, I heard some of it on the web site (www.cinemavii.com...) but how many parts are written in your production? Do they correspond to the 3 main parts of the ballet? 4°/ Is it possible to receive a program and some press reviews? 5°/ I would appreciate any sort of information about your play that seems so interesting. Thank you in advance, Yours faithfully, Prof. Dr Malou HaineConservateur du MIM1 rue Villa Hermosa1000 Bruxelles - Tél. 00.32.(0)2.545.01.36Professeur à l'ULBDirecteur de la Collection "Musique/Musicologie", éditions Mardagawww.malouhaine.be