This piece was created/started on a leap of faith. Something Sarai had been thinking about for over 8 years, when she was first introduced to the Wesendonck songs, and Mary was the perfect person to partner with to not only co-create the piece but to also direct it. The music is often so grand and lofty and Mary's down to earth and direct directing style serve the intimate and personal nature of the piece as a whole. Mary has played the interpreter of Sarai's thoughts and her gathered research with an uncanny ability to put these free thoughts and pieces together to create a story worth telling.
Poems in my Hand is a piece that is intended to be performed live but with the current situation a recorded version is most accessible and safest so we have leaned into it but look forward to a live performance in the future.
Possessing a rich, powerful voice that evokes unmistakable echoes of opera greats such as Birgit Nilsson and Jessye Norman, Sarai Cole is an international Verdian/Wagnerian soprano and a rising star in the opera world, having won numerous awards, grants, and competitions such such as the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition at Carnegie Hall, the Long Beach Mozart Festival Competition. Ms. Cole has performed across the globe and received grants from Wagner societies across the United States and Germany, and from the Akademie der Künste. Most recently Ms. Cole performed in the spring festival for Staats Oper Stuttgart, the BAM Berliner Festival für aktuelles Musiktheater, with an experimental production called White Limozeen. She was in a masterclass with Günther Groissböck for the abridged 2020 Bayreuth Wagner Festival, and a concert with Freunde junger Künstlerinnen und Künstler. Sarai has always had a love for writing, words, and poetry and had her first poems published at age ten. Writing and poetry have since been a loved hobby and she is happy to have a chance to include them in her professional repertoire.
Mary is an theatre-maker and a twice published, five times produced, playwright. Her plays Unraveling the Ribbon (published by Nick Hern Books, London) and Two for a Girl (Stinging-Fly Press, Dublin) have been produced internationally. She graduated from The Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, in 2002, has been based in Berlin since 2011.
Mary has performed all over the world, her theatre highlights include; All My Sons (Robin Lefevre, The Gate Theatre), A Doll’s House (Second Age Th. Co. Ireland), The Little Mermaid World Tour (Big-Telly Th. Co.) A Midsummer Night's Dream with The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Isaac’s Eye, Coolaid and Two for a Girl at English Theatre Berlin | IPAC, A Christmas Carol and Two for a Girl at Theatre Forum Kreuzberg. Two for a Girl at Frankfurt International Theatre.
TV and film include; Parked with Colm Meaney (Ripple world Pictures), Fran (Setanta and TV3) and The Clinic (RTE). Radio includes; The Hit List with Brendan Gleeson, written and directed by John Boorman, and Mayday, written and directed by Veronica Coburn.
Mary teaches Creative Writing @marytjk and is an acting coach for actors and singers.
Mary met Sarai when they directed Rheingold in 2019 for Dramatic Voices Program Berlin. It’s an honour and delight for her to work with Sarai on Poems in My Hands.
Funded by Akademie der Künste
Special thanks to Debora Polaski, Frank Odjidja, Eva Balzer, & Nora Gordon
Producer - Sarai Cole
Assistant Producer - Brenda Marie Turner
Sound Team: Thomas Schöttl & Gabriel García
Video Team: Martin Junge
Co-editor Sarai Cole
Ben Woodward (Piano)
Sarah Martin (Violin)
Luiza Labouriau (Violin)
Francis Ricardo (Viola)
Martin Knoerzer (cello)
Music Arr. Matt Long
Photography: Michael F & Jonas Radtke
Stage Managers: Courtney Gosset, Bianca Radoslav, & Vanessa Zivcak
Helpers: Markus Freericks