Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Circa and Debussy String Quartet bring movement and meaning to Shostakovich’s music in ‘Opus’ Nov. 11 at Eisenhower

Circa’s 14 extreme acrobats and live accompaniment by the Debussy String Quartet breathe life into the music of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich in “Opus” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

In “Opus,” created by Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz, three of the Russian composer’s quartets and an adagio—intimate, passionate, lyrical and ironic—form the musical and dramatic foundation for a union of extreme acrobatics, lyrical movement and group choreography. More than just a source of musical accompaniment, the Debussy ensemble performs from memory and is woven into the action.

Purchase tickets, which are $42 for an adult, $19 for a University Park student and $32 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

Since 2004, Australia’s Circa has challenged audiences with its thrilling, delightful and poetic circus art. The company’s daring and award-winning works have been performed in 33 countries on six continents.

France’s Debussy String Quartet, which has released more than 25 CDs in the same number of years, is up to Circa’s challenge. The musicians meet the flying, twirling and writhing performing artists with the 20th-century composer’s avant-garde themes, brash harmonies and sarcastic idioms.

Britain’s The Guardian calls Circa a troupe “with brains, not just brawn,” and France’s Les Echoes describes “Opus” as “none other than sublime … a monument, musically and choreographically.”

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders.

This presentation is a component of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project. With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project provides opportunities to engage students, faculty and the community with classical music artists and programs.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring the Debussy musicians, takes place in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Benson and Christine Lichtig, William Rabinowitz and Shirley Sacks sponsor the performance. WPSU is the media sponsor.

Learn more about “Opus.”

Watch an excerpt of Circa’s “Opus.”