Jacaranda will perform “The Knee Plays” by David Byrne, the famed driving force of the “art rock” band the Talking Heads. This program of 1980s film, theater and ceremonial music is part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s citywide “Minimalist Jukebox” (March 16-May 4). Robert Wilson’s ambitious, unfinished opera “the CIVIL warS” was intended for the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival in Los Angeles. “The Knee Plays” was conceived as a set of 14 short interludes between sections of the opera to span an entire day. Actor Fran Kranz will narrate Jacaranda’s presentation. Jacaranda’s offering of the entire set, which Byrne toured widely and recorded, will complement the L.A. Phil’s two performances of the opera’s “Rome Section” by Philip Glass. Together, they constitute the only two completed parts of “the CIVIL warS” — united in Los Angeles for the first time ever. “The Knee Plays” tour ended in 1988. Saturday, April 5, 8 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 2nd St., Santa Monica, 90401. Concert tickets, $45 general; $20 students: jacarandamusic.org. Information: (213) 483-0216.
The Jacaranda program will open with works by Philip Glass: “Mad Rush,” an elaborate organ piece performed for the exiled Dalai Lama’s first public visit to New York City in 1981, and a suite from the soundtrack to the 1985 film “Mishima.” Mark Alan Hilt performed “Mad Rush” on Jacaranda’s first concert, and it is included as a nod to Jacaranda’s 10th anniversary. “Mishima,” a 1985 Paul Schrader film, chronicles with stylized scenes the famed Japanese writer Yukio Mishima’s failed coup d’état.
A rising actor in film (“Cabin in the Woods,” “Much Ado About Nothing”) and television (“The Good Wife,” “Bad Sports”), Kranz appeared in director Mike Nichols’ Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman” with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2014 Kranz will share the big screen with Niki Reed, Greg Kinnear and Blythe Danner.
Artists: Fran Kranz, narrator; Mark Alan Hilt, organist & conductor; Lyris Quartet with Calder Quartet; Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble; and Vintage Collectibles brass band featuring drummer M.B. Gordy.
About Jacaranda: Jacaranda, with the motto of “music at the edge,” is a series of intimate concert adventures into the realm of new and rarely heard classical music designed to awaken curiosity, passion and discovery in diverse audiences. Founded in 2003 by arts impresario Patrick Scott and conductor/organist Mark Alan Hilt, Jacaranda produces a series (eight concerts this season) that features current and rising stars in the world of classical music performance. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Jacaranda’s full 2013-14 season information is available at jacarandamusic.org. Most concerts are at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. For information or to purchase tickets go to jacarandamusic.org.