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Films Animated movies French plays English Plays

Title... "Beethoven's Tenth", by Peter Ustinov

A play in 2 acts, written by the actor Peter Ustinov.

The first performances in the USA were between October 7th and November 27th 1983.

  Peter Ustinov plays the role of Ludwig van Beethoven. Amongst the other actors: George Rose, Mary Jay, Adam Redfield, Anderson Matthews, Leslie O'Hara, Neil Flanagan, Gina Friedlander, Gwyllum Evans...

Peter Ustinov...
Peter Ustinov as Beethoven...
Peter Ustinov as Beethoven

What would Beethoven say of our modern lifestyle? What would be his responses to all the historians and researchers who comment on and unpick his life and works? Ustinov, a great music-lover, uses a tone clear, vivacious and direct. I love, for example, Beethoven's response to his host who proudly tells him "I've read all your letters ". The composer, irritated, replies: "Why? Were they addressed to you?".

Placing the composer in our modern times is simply a pretext to explore his way of thinking, and being...

The play by  Peter Ustinov...

The book was published in 1985 by Samuel French Inc. New York
114 pages
ISBN: 0573619611.


Title... "Blake and Beethoven in The Tempest" by Stanley K. Freiberg

The meeting, which never happened, between Ludwig van Beethoven and William Blake, also featuring Emilie Brontë, Thomas de Quincey and others.

The storm rages. Characters from 'The Tempest' by William Shakespeare appear at certain moments.

Beethoven and Blake have the occasion, throughout the play, to echange their points of view on music, politics and other subjects...

Title... "She talks to Beethoven" by Adrienne Kennedy

Adrienne Kennedy is a key figure in the fight of the black communities in the USA. Born in 1931, she is one of their most well-known authors, notably for her work as a playwright.

This play is set in Ghana, in 1961. The principle character is an author who is writing a play about Beethoven.. She reads us large sections of her play. Finally Beethoven himself arrives on scene.

  Numerous themes are covered, especially the opera Fidelio...

Adrienne Kennedy...
Adrienne Kennedy's book...

In "The Alexander Plays" one can read the play "She talks to Beethoven" by Adrienne Kennedy.

Editor: University of Minnesota Press - ISBN: 0816620776 - May 1992 - 107 pages.

Title... You can read this article...
The Beethoven Journal...

In English..Evoking Beethoven on Stage

A presentation of the plays by Peter Ustinov, Stanley Freiberg and Andrienne Kennedy

Author: Donna BECKAGE
The Beethoven Journal - Summer 2001 - Volume 16 - Issue 1
9 pages.

Title... The Beethovens
The Beethovens, by Simon Levy and Frederick Kurth - Produced at the Dynarski Theatre in Los Angeles


Beethoven, the rock star of his generation, is the most celebrated musical genius of his time. But his sexual obsession for his sister-in-law, Johanna von Beethoven (the real Immortal Beloved), drags his family into terrible tragedy even while he creates his greatest music.


Living the carefree, exotic life of a superstar, Beethoven is unexpectedly forced into the demands of ordinary family life. His brother dies, and he's expected to take care of his little nephew, Karl, and sister-in-law, Johanna.

His brother's will stipulates that Beethoven shall have authority over all decisions affecting Karl. When Beethoven decides his nephew should leave home and go to a boarding school, Johanna, feeling betrayed and abandoned, takes Beethoven to court to contest the will. A custody battle ensues: the famous Beethoven vs. the mother of the child. The court battles eventually lead all the way to Emperor Franz the First of Austria.

Beethoven's behavior throughout becomes more and more irrational and possessive: He's unable to reconcile his feelings of responsibility to his brother's last wishes, his love of Karl, his unresolved sexual feelings for Johanna, and the demands of his musical genius. Eventually, he drags them all into a series of terrible tragedies.

But out of those tragedies, and the struggles leading up to them, he creates his greatest music. And maybe the truth is, he never would have created the works he's famous for if he hadn't been forced to come face-to-face with the very human failings that haunt all of us.

The play premiered in Los Angeles in 1992 and ran for 6 weeks.

Many thanks to Hannah SALTER for her translation of this page from French into English
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