Weeks Gallery hosts Requiem: When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d:
Paul Leone’s recitation of a poem by Walt Whitman, accompaniment by the Byard Family musicians.
April 26 6 – 8 p.m.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served courtesy of Weeks Gallery. The JCC Juried Student Art and Design exhibition will serve as the backdrop for this program.
Writer and storyteller Paul Leone and musicians Kerry, Marian, and Hannah Byard will present the program, titled Requiem, commemorating the 152nd anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln died on the morning of April 15, 1865. Whitman wrote the poem immediately after he received word of the assassination. “The elegy is the lyrical expression of Whitman’s most sublime theme,” said Leone, “that is, the mystical relation between love and death. It is both an expression of profound grief at the president’s death and the uncorrupted love Whitman held for the American democracy and the magnificent American landscape.”
Leone has been telling stories in western New York for more than 25 years. He is the author of numerous books, both fiction and nonfiction, set in or around Chautauqua County.
As part of the April 26 presentation Leone will introduce the literary and historical context for Whitman’s poem. Most of the music for the adaptation is original, composed by Byard.