Aging Magician

Co-created by composer PAOLA PRESTINI, writer and performer RINDE ECKERT, and director and designer JULIAN CROUCH

instrument designer MARK STEWART

co-scenic design & costume design by AMY C. RUBIN

video & lighting design by JOSH HIGGASON

Performed by RINDE ECKERT, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (conducted by DIANNE BERKUN-MENAKER) and Attacca Quartet

Residency & development support from Mass MoCA,  The Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE, and The Watermill Center’s Artist Residency Program.


A new music-theatre work, Aging Magician is a composite of sonic and visual elements that paints an allegory on time, youth, and the peculiar magic of ordinary life, and, perhaps, the ordinary magic of a peculiar life. Accompanied by a string quartet and a choir of young people, Aging Magician moves us along with its protagonist, Harold, from the surgical repair of a timepiece to the magic show of time itself. His journey begins on a train to Coney Island, which carries him across lives and deaths, appearances and disappearances, helping him to uncover his legacy. The man’s vibrant last adventure is brought to life by a team of multidisciplinary artists who combine music, theatre, puppetry, instrument making, and scenic design to create an enduring work for the stage.


BROOKLYN YOUTH CHORUS and Attacca Quartet led by Dianne Berkun-Menaker. Combining Prestini’s sonic world, Crouch’s puppetry, with Eckert’s text and multi-faceted performance, a children’s youth chorus is woven into set and story, using traditional Greek techniques of consoling, chiding, and commenting on Harold’s journey. The chorus heightens the overall experience as it interacts with set pieces, film, and puppetry. The instrumentalists—a group of virtuosic improvisers—comments musically throughout.


Stewart and Crouch’s set is an immersive installation that can be played like an instrument—blown, struck, whistled, plucked, and bowed. The scenery’s surfaces become the canvas for the projection design.


Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, VisionIntoArt, Walker Art Center, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Developed by Beth Morrison Projects and VisionIntoArt, with support from National Endowment for the Arts, and Repertoire Development Grant support from Opera America, and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, with additional funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Opera America Opera Fund. Aging Magician has received residency support from Mass MoCA, Park Avenue Armory and The Watermill Center’s Artist Residency Program. All photos © Jill Steinberg 2014

  • March 3-12, 2017 – We’re going to Broadway!

Aging Magician will be at the New Victory Theater in March 2017.

“Also opening in March will be Beth Morrison Projects, Vision Into Art, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ Aging Magician (March 3-12, 2017). Co-created by Julian Crouch, Paola Prestini, and Rinde Eckert (who also stars), the show combines live music, theater, puppetry, instrument-making, and scenic design to tell the story of Harold, an aging clockmaker on his last adventure.”

– New Victory Theater

  • February 28, 2016 – MASSMoCA (Final Workshop SHOWING) with Rinde Eckert, Julian Crouch, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
  • March 5 & 6, 2016 – Walker Art Center (WORLD PREMIERE) with Rinde Eckert, Julian Crouch, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus

“…an enigmatic detente….potent, soulful.” Steve Smith, The New York Times “Aging Magician is brilliant” Robert Wilson “Aging Magician is grandly, even venerably, operatic…[from the composer] who wrote the acclaimed Oceanic Verses.” WQXR

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Release Date: May 24, 2017