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The Soldier's Tale

You'd think this devilishly challenging septet was composed for our times.

Part concert, part theatrical performance, The Soldier's Tale is your classic devil-went-down-to-Georgia/Ukraine story. Seven of APO's finest musicians undertake one of Stravinsky's most difficult works. Meanwhile, dramatic readings from our friends at Trike Theatre set the shocking scene. 

Created just in time to be shut down due to the Spanish Flu in 1918, The Soldier's Tale sounds as jagged and feels as unsettling today as it did then.

The Soldier's Tale by Igor Stravinsky (1918)

Conducted by Steven Byess

Thaden School Great Hall, Bentonville, AR 

Joseph - Steven Marzolf 

The Devil - Betsy Jilka 

Narrator - Julie Gabel

Trike Theatre Artistic Director - Kassie Miscowitz 

Violin - Er-Gene Kahng 

Clarinet - Nophachai Cholthitchanta 

Bassoon - Richard Bobo 

Trumpet - Richard Rulli 

Trombone - Cory Mixdorf

Double Bass - Jerry Lane 

Percussion - Fernando Valencia


A Brief Discussion With:

Listen in as APO's own Steven Byess, Music Director joins Trike Theatre's Artistic Director Kassie Misiewicz, to discuss this exciting collaboration. Learn about the performers and what to expect in this return to in person performance.


L'Histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale) is a theatrical work "to be read, played, and danced", traditionally by three actors and one or several dancers, accompanied by a septet of instruments. Conceived by Igor Stravinsky and Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz, the piece was based on a Russian folk tale drawn from the collection of Alexander Afanasyev called The Runaway Soldier and the Devil. 

The libretto relates the parable of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil in return for unlimited economic gain. The music is scored for a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet (often played on trumpet), trombone, and percussion, and the story is told by three actors: the soldier, the devil, and a narrator, who also takes on the roles of minor characters. The music is rife with changing time signatures. For this reason, it is commonly performed with a conductor.


The APO is excited to partner with Trike Theatre, Northwest Arkansas' professional theatre for youth that provides professional theatre productions, literacy integrated drama residencies and drama academy programs. The mission of Trike Theatre is to Cultivate Creativity, Build Character, and Strengthen Community through its vision of transforming the lives of young people through exceptional theatre experiences.

Learn More at


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