Plays Directory : The Soldier's Tale

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    C.F. Ramuz
  • Overview
    Histoire du soldat (sometimes written L'histoire du soldat; translated as The Soldier's Tale) is a 1918 theatrical work "to be read, played, and danced" ("lue, jouée et dansée") set to music by Igor Stravinsky. The libretto, which is based on a Russian folk tale, was written in French by the Swiss universalist writer C.F. Ramuz. It is a parable about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy. The music is scored for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet (often played on trumpet), trombone, and percussion, and the story is told by three actors: the soldier, the devil, and a narrator, who also takes on the roles of minor characters. A dancer plays the non-speaking role of the princess, and there may also be additional ensemble dancers. The piece was written for small ensemble to compensate for the lack of players due to World War I (since so many were enlisted in the armed services).

    The libretto has been translated into English by Michael Flanders and Kitty Black, and by Jeremy Sams, and into German by Hans Reinhart.

    A full performance of Histoire du soldat takes about an hour. The music is in the modernist style[citation needed] and is rife with changing time signatures. For this reason, it is commonly performed with a conductor, though some ensembles have elected to perform the piece without one. Much of the music – especially the concerto-like violin part – is considered virtuosic.[citation needed]

    The work was premiered in Lausanne on 28 September 1918, conducted by Ernest Ansermet.

    Stravinsky was assisted greatly in the production of the work by the Swiss philanthropist Werner Reinhart. Reinhart sponsored and largely underwrote the premiere. In gratitude, Stravinsky dedicated the work to Reinhart, and gave him the original manuscript. Reinhart continued his support of Stravinsky’s work in 1919 by funding a series of concerts of his recent chamber music. These included a concert suite of five numbers from The Soldier’s Tale, arranged for clarinet, violin, and piano, which was a nod to Reinhart, who was regarded as an excellent amateur clarinettist. The suite was first performed on 8 November 1919, in Lausanne, long before the better-known suite for the seven original performers became known.

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Connected mandy members:

Joanna Nead
Joanna Nead
Assistant Stage Manager
2019, Deputy Stage Manager
Jasmin Keshavarzi
2018, Amira
Omnibus Theatre, Clapham
Rebecca Scanlon
2018, Choreographer/Princess
Eleanor Lewin
2018, Devil
Holly Georgina Spence
Holly Georgina Spence
Assistant Stage Manager
2018, Technician
Omnibus
James Lewis-Knight
2018, The Soldier
Skipton Town Hall
George Ormerod
2018, Soldier
The Swan Theatre
Tamsin Lynes
Tamsin Lynes
Actor
2018, Jo
Omnibus Theatre, Clapham
Emily Bennett
2017, The Devil
Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club
Simon Kane
Simon Kane
Actor
2017, The Devil
Chiddingly Village Hall
Wayne Wilson
Wayne Wilson
Actor
2016, The Soldier
Dartington Castle
Chloe Jane Astleford
2016, The Devil
Dartington Festival and Presteigne Festival
Joseph Hardy
Joseph Hardy
Actor
2015, Soldier
Nina van Houten
Nina van Houten
Makeup Artist
2015, Wigs and Make-up Supervisor
Japan
Emma Banwell
Emma Banwell
Company Stage Manager
2015, Company Stage Manager
Tokyo
Ella Marchment
Ella Marchment
Director
2015, Director
Bloomsbury Theatre, The Swiss Church Covent Garden
Tom Riddell
Tom Riddell
Actor
2015, The Soldier
Adrian Boult Hall
Clark Alexander
2015, The Devil
The Octagon and St Johns Church
Max Narula
Max Narula
Lighting Programmer
2015, Associate LD/Programmer
Tokyo, Japan
Alena Tryapitsyna
Alena Tryapitsyna
Set Designer
2015, Set and Costume Designer

Alternative Names

Soldier's Tale, The Soldier's Tale by C.F. Ramuz