Join us for the next Festival: January 18-29, 2023

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Chicago Puppet Fests presents:

Basil Twist: Symphonie Fantastique Film

US/New York

In 1998, puppeteer Basil Twist debuted his boundary-breaking response to Berlioz’s 1830 “Symphonie Fantastique” to universal acclaim. In the two decades since, Twist became an internationally recognized artist in opera, ballet, and on Broadway, winning countless awards including the illustrious MacArthur Fellowship.


In 2018 Twist revisited his legendary masterpiece in its original home, the HERE Arts Center in NYC with live accompaniment by the virtuosic Christopher O’Riley playing the exquisite Liszt transcription for concert piano and in a significantly larger aquarium. Symphonie floated and swirled for a critically lauded and sold-out six-month run, allowing the finest performances to be captured in front of, behind, and inside the 1,000-gallon water tank by Twist and director Bobby Sheehan. Soon after, while on a Rome Prize fellowship, Twist collaborated with master Italian film artisans to edit and refine the definitive filmed version of this iconic theatrical experience. The result, Twist’s first full-length film,  is not just a document of a performance but an artistic expression in its own right, weaving imagery seen by the audience with the unseen backstage ballet of the puppeteers and the emotional synergy of the live musical performance. It received its world premiere at the 2019 World Puppetry Festival in Charleville Mézières, France, where Twist was the guest of honor.

Event Details

Dates/Times:
Tuesday, January 24 at 6pm

Location: Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave.

Cost: $15/$10 students & seniors

Ages: All Ages

Running Time: 66 mins

ADA Accessible? Yes

The Puppet Has Been Waiting.

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is returning in a big way, January 18-29, 2023, at venues large and small throughout the city. For 12 consecutive days, Chicago will be the puppetry capital of the world, home to more than 100 performances and events around the city that promise to astonish and delight.

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