Clara: Sex, Love & Classical Music
Clara: Sex, Love & Classical Music is an insightful example of historic fiction meets contemporary theatre. Inspired by the life and works of Clara Schumann and grounded in a world where the classical and romantic collide this one woman show straddles expectations will aspiring for greatness.
The performer on stage (Elena Mazzon) is also the writer behind this ambitious play and the unmistakable confidence that comes from the experience of the auteur and the numerous earlier productions of Clara: Sex, Love & Classical Music provides a strong backbone for the piece.
This play is ambitious not in its scale or scope but because it seeks to make an early 19th Century pianist, mother, and feminist relatable for a contemporary audience. While some of Clara Schumann’s experiences are deeply alien to the Perth audience Elena Mazzon still manages to connect personally with the audience while sharing letters and diary entries that allude to much while giving little away.
Clara: Sex, Love & Classical Music imbues many of the grandiose subjects of classical music and into one charming character.
As the title suggests the life of Clara Schumann, as told by Elena Mazzon, is complexly layered with work, romance, and obligation and it is encouraging to hear a female voice discuss in the same breath a desire for sex, intimacy, and independence.
There is an unmistakable postmodern lens to this narrative which sometimes flattens the experience of parenthood and is quick to dissolve the sense of love and longing inside marriage, however the creative team have worked diligently to weave musical expression into the highs and lows of falling in and out of love.
Sharing an intimate space with this solitary character as she struggles to realise her hopes for herself and her family is a stirring experience. With the renowned musical tutelage of Stefania Passamonte and the wise direction of Catriona Kerridge, Elena Mazzon has been well positioned to resurrect a vision of Clara Schumann that is empowering, heartbreaking, cheeky, and endearing.