IRANIAN AND ISRAELI ARTISTS COLLABORATE ON A NEW MUSICAL COMEDY, A MODERN-ANCIENT TWIST ON THE TRADITIONAL PURIMSPIEL
Floating Tower presents a workshop preview of “The King’s Ear” a fresh musical comedy by Mátti Kovler and Debbie Danielpour.
Featuring Tutti Druyan (Israeli) as Esther, and Parham Haghighi (Iranian) as Mordechai, the show is an unexpected telling of the biblical story through a contemporary lens. Assisted by her uncle, the young and inexperienced Esther vanquishes the spiteful Haman (David Hughes, UK) in his ludicrous quest for power and ultimately saves the Jewish people.
“In an effort to revive the story of Purim and Esther, we’ve blended the elements of jazz, hip-hop, Gospel and knee slapping humor with the traditional Purim narrative,” said Mátti Kovler, The King’s Ear composer. “The piece is both a celebration of the beloved Purim tale and a satiric examination of contemporary political issues,” continued Debbie Danielpour, The King’s Ear librettist.
A versatile Israeli vocalist, actress, and voice-over artist, Tutti Druyan began her career at the age of 3 by dubbing some of the most popular cartoons in Israel. At 12, Druyan hosted her own News show on the Israeli television. Most recently, Tutti performed at the Latin Grammy Awards. In 2012 Druyan dubbed and directed the American version of “Miffy the Movie,” which was released in theaters worldwide. That same year, four albums Tutti sang in as a child, were certified platinum. Tutti is the lead in Floating Tower’s production of “Ami and Tami,” and has performed in various other productions including “Honey and Thorns.”
Born and raised in Mashhad, Iran, a major cultural oasis along the ancient Silk Road, Parham Haghighi was among the last musicians to perform on stage in his native city. A graduate of the Berklee College focusing on Contemporary Writing and Production, Parham performed in various Floating Tower productions, including “Seekers of Light,” “Secrets of Dawn” and “Quill of the Soul.”
David William Hughes is a singer, composer, conductor, and actor based in Boston, MA. Born in the UK, David holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Oxford, where he studied composition with Martin Suckling, and voice with David Crown, and was a member of the renowned comedy troupe the Oxford Imps. Recent engagements have included Matti Kovler’s “Ami and Tami”with the Landmarks Orchestra (“Hughes was perfect” – The Times of Israel), and Purcell’s Ode on St. Cecelia’s Day with the Harvard Radcliffe Chorus. David is the Choir Director at Boston Trinity Academy, and co-director of the renaissance chamber choir Tactus Ensemble.
Described by The New York Times as “a potentially estimable operatic composer in the making,” (NY Times) Mátti Kovler has been commissioned by Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall and the Israel Philharmonic. In 2014-2105 he was composer in residence at the Elie Wiesel Center of Jewish Studies at the Boston University, where he started Floating Tower, now based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, the foremost training ground for new musical theatre, where the writers of A Chorus Line, Avenue Q, and The Book of Mormon, among many others, learned their craft.
A professor in the department of film and television at Boston University, Debbie Danielpour was born in New York to parents of Iranian heritage. She writes libretti, screenplays and fiction. The Great Good Thing, a family opera written with composer Bruce Wolosoff, was workshopped in NYC and is currently in development. Her most recent film, His Last Game (2015), was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Like Esther, she is a Persian Jew. Her mother insists she is a descendant of Esther.