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Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu





John Mauceri Conducted World Concert Premiere of Shostakovich score with North Carolina Symphony in 2008


WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will be well represented at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colo., this summer, as Chancellor John Mauceri conducts the Aspen Concert Orchestra and a talented group of UNCSA actors in a groundbreaking adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, Hamlet.

The performance will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, in the Benedict Music Tent. For tickets and more information, see:

Maestro Mauceri conducted the North Carolina Symphony in the 2008 world concert premiere of composer Dimitri Shostakovich’s score for the 1964 film version of Hamlet by Russian director Grigori Kosintsev. UNCSA Dean of Drama Gerald Freedman wrote the abridged script and directed the 2008 performances in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

This summer’s performance will be directed by UNCSA alumnus Quin Gordon (School of Drama, 2008), who assisted Freedman in the original production. 

Mary Irwin, who heads the School of Drama’s voice and speech program,  will perform as Gertrude, and several School of Drama alumni will perform, including William Connell (2005) as Hamlet; Lauren Culpepper (2008) as Ophelia; Richard Fullerton (1996) as Polonius; Ted Schneider (2002) as Laertes/Horatio; and David Van Pelt (1990) as Claudius. Kevin Kirkpatrick, a rising senior in UNCSA’s School of Design and Production, is the lighting designer.

The Aspen Concert Orchestra is composed of students who are participating in the music festival.

This production of Hamlet originated with Maestro Mauceri, after reading a biography of Shostakovich that mentioned the composer’s three scores to this play. Having adapted many film scores during his tenure as Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (1991-2007), Mauceri approached the composer’s widow to secure permission to adapt her husband’s score to the 1964 Soviet film so it could have a wider audience.

As Chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Mauceri turned to his long-time colleague, Gerald Freedman, Dean of UNCSA’s School of Drama and a world-famous director of the plays of Shakespeare, who agreed to adapt the original play (the film presents the text in a different order from the play) with the proviso that it have a small cast. Together Mauceri and Freedman made a performing edition which features the complete Shostakovich score and enough of Shakespeare’s play to make a dramatic concert version lasting approximately an hour and a half, with an optional intermission.

Mauceri has been known throughout his career for programs which brilliantly fuse music and theatre.

Of the 2008 world premiere, the Raleigh News & Observer observed: “An evening-length Hamlet, combining a Shostakovich film score with live actors, offered an innovative alternative to traditional programming. … Mauceri's crisp, sweeping command demonstrated the worthiness of the music, with its thrilling fanfares, rousing action sequences, haunting themes for ghosts and madness, and gripping melodies for sorrow and melancholy.”

The Aspen production of Hamlet is made possible by a special gift from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. 

John Mauceri (Conductor) is the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and the Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. His distinguished and extraordinary career has taken him not only to the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia.

Maestro Mauceri has served as music director of four opera companies: Washington (National), Scottish (Glasgow), the Teatro Regio (Turin, Italy), and Pittsburgh. He is the first American to have held the post of music director of an opera house in either Great Britain or Italy. He was the first music director of the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall after its founding director, Leopold Stokowski, with whom he studied. He was Consultant for Music Theater at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for more than a decade, and, for 15 years, he served on the faculty of Yale University. For 18 years, Mauceri worked closely with Leonard Bernstein and conducted many of the composer’s premieres at Bernstein’s request.

On Broadway, he was co-producer of On Your Toes, and served as musical supervisor for Hal Prince’s production of Candide as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance. He also conducted the orchestra for the film version of Evita. Among his many awards and honors are a Tony, Grammy, Billboard, Olivier, and two Emmys. Last year, his recording of Erich Korngold’s Between Two Worlds was selected by Gramophone magazine as one of the 250 Greatest Recordings of All Time. In April, Gramophone named two of his recordings with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra among the “10 great studio re-creations” of classic movie soundtracks.

Chancellor Mauceri holds the lifetime title of Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which was created for him in 1991 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with whom he led over 300 concerts to a total audience of over 4 million people. He has written for and appeared on radio and television and has delivered keynote speeches and papers for major artistic and educational institutions, such as Harvard University, the American Academy in Berlin, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the American Musicological Society, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He recently published articles for Cambridge University Press and Gramophone magazine.

Chancellor John Mauceri
Photo by Brent LaFever

John Mauceri

William Connell

William Connell

Lauren Culpepper

Lauren Culpepper

Richard Fullerton

Richard Fullerton

Mary Irwin

Mary Irwin

Ted Schneider

Ted Schneider

David Van Pelt

David Van Pelt

Mauceri has taken the lead in the preservation and performance of many genres of music and has supervised/conducted important premieres by composers as diverse as Debussy, Stockhausen, Korngold, Hindemith, Bernstein, Ives, Elfman, and Shore. He is a leading performer of music banned by the Third Reich and especially music of Hollywood’s émigré composers, and can be seen and heard on many recent DVD releases of classic films.

As Chancellor of UNCSA, Mauceri has led America’s first public arts conservatory for five years. Located in Winston-Salem, the university includes music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design & production curricula for high school, college, and graduate degrees.

Recent performances include an October 2010 debut in Spain at the Bilbao Opera as musical director of Susannah, with composer Carlisle Floyd present; and a November 2010 debut in Denmark with The Danish National Orchestra, conducting “Emigrés and Protégés – The Hollywood Diaspora.” He has just completed a critically acclaimed run as musical director of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, an all-UNCSA production and restoration that he supervised of the original 1943 Broadway production which was filmed for future broadcast.

One of the world's preeminent experts on film music, Chancellor Mauceri appeared on June 29 at an event celebrating the life of film composer Bernard Herrmann, at WQXR in New York City, which can be heard online at WNYC’s The Greene Space. In addition, a studio recording of George and Ira Gershwin’s 1930 hit Broadway musical, Strike Up the Band, conducted by John Mauceri, has just been released (June 21) by PS Classics. Maestro Mauceri will return to the Hollywood Bowl August 19-21 to conduct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in selections from Fantasia, Walt Disney’s landmark marriage of classical music and animation.

Quin Gordon’s (Director) New York City directing credits include The Picture of Dorian Gray (Theatrelab), The Dinner Party (Lincoln Center Institute), Babette’s Feast (Threads Theatre Co.), Hot Cripple (Seeing Place Theater), Red Light Winter (DPTV), People Like You (9Thirty Theatre Co.), and the upcoming rock opera The Power of the Crystals (NY Fringe). Assistant directing credits include Vieux Carré (Pearl Theatre Co., Austin Pendleton), The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd (Mint Theater, Stuart Howard).

William Connell’s NYC/regional credits include A View From the Bridge (2010 Broadway Revival), The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center Theater), Alphabetical Order (Keen Co.), Pride and Prejudice (Geva Theatre Center), The Glass Menagerie (Two River Theater), Murder on the Nile (Dorset Theatre Festival), As You Like It (Weston Playhouse), Babette's Feast (Threads Theatre Co.), Sherlock Holmes, The Early Years (NYMF), All's Well That Ends Well (TFANA), The Dinner Party (Lincoln Center Institute), Mary Stuart (NYCT), and The Tempest (SRT). His television and film credits include Untitled David Chase Project (2012), Gossip Girl, Law & Order, and Guiding Light.

Lauren Culpepper recently appeared in I Capture the Castle (Signature Theatre, DC), Crime and Punishment (Centerstage), and The Diary of Anne Frank (Westport Country Playhouse). Her New York theatre credits include Lincoln Center Institute: The Dinner Party, Sonnet Repertory Theatre: Midsummer Night's Dream. Regional credits include Folger Shakespeare Theatre and Two River Theater: Orestes: A Tragic Romp (Helen Hayes ensemble nomination), and Theatre J: A New Jerusalem. Other credits include Trojan Women, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and As You Like It. She is a company member of No Rules Theatre, and will perform a principal role in an upcoming Paramount feature film.

Richard Fullerton has appeared in well over a hundred roles in theatre, film, television, industrials and commercials. Favorite stage appearances (West Coast) Los Angeles premieres of The White House Murder Case and The Trip Back Down, Sea Marks, Waiting for Godot, The Foreigner,  a season at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre; (North Carolina) Faith Healer, Machinal, Brigadoon (at UNCSA), Moving Picture, A Christmas Carol. Films include REMEMBER THE TITANS, SECRETARIAT, BLACK KNIGHT, CABIN FEVER, MICKEY, and THE LIST. He recently appeared in THE SHUNNING, made for the Hallmark Channel and coming to DVD.

Mary Irwin is a voice, speech and text teacher, and an actor. She has been on the faculty of the UNCSA School of Drama since 1995, serving as head of Voice and Speech since 2001. She has had the great privilege of co-teaching Shakespeare with UNCSA Drama Dean Gerald Freedman for the last decade, and was invited to teach a workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe in London during the summer 2000 season, through the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts funded program, Shakespeare Lives. Irwin was voice and text coach for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival for seven seasons, working on productions of The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Shakespeare at UNCSA includes Hamlet, Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, As You Like It, and at least two Midsummer Night’s Dreams, the most recent of which was performed this January with the Winston-Salem Symphony playing the Mendelssohn score.  As an actor, Irwin has appeared with companies such as Circle Rep LAB, Lakota Theatre Company, the American Renaissance Theatre, and in the Samuel French/Double Image Original Short Play Festival. Representative roles include Lady Macbeth; The Duchess of York in Richard III; Natasha in The Three Sisters; Rita in Billy Liar; and Iris in Corinne Jacker’s Bits and Pieces. Film credits include ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS and CHE BELLA FAMIGLIA. Television credits include To Save a Child, …And Then She Was Gone, and All My Children.

Ted Schneider’s theatre credits include The Merchant of Venice national tour, Theater for a New Audience; Three Sisters, Chautauqua Theater Company; Twelfth Night, Sonnet Repertory Theater;  Birdy, Women’s Project; Now That’s What I Call a Storm, Edge Theater Company; Ghosts, Classic Stage Company; Men Without Shadows, The Flea; The Geranium on the Window Sill, Urban Stages; The Baby Makes Three, EST/Youngblood; One Little Duck, Crosstown Playwrights Festival; The Lover/Bacchanalia, Bay Street Theater; Balm In Gilead, Industry City; Ivanov, Platanov, The Cherry Orchard, and The Seagull, Lake Lucille. Film credits include National Lampoon’s THE BEACH PARTY AT THE THRESHOLD OF HELL, NEVER SEEN and others.

David Van Pelt’s New York theatre credits include Abingdon (many productions including Jan Buttram’s Zona and Texas Homos, Melvin Bernhardt, director), Jonathan Bank’s Mint Theatre, Melting Pot, TNC, Currican, Actor’s Playhouse. Regional credits include New Jersey Rep (staged reading series with Linda Hamilton), Pittsburgh Public, Stamford Theater Works, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville (multiple productions including the Humana Festival), Romulus Linney’s Heathen Valley for Baylor University’s Horton Foote Festival and Appalachian Summer Festival (Jim Houghton, director), multiple productions as Pete Gint in Linney’s Gint (Romulus Linney, director) (including Oslo, Norway’s International Ibsen Festival); Old Globe, Denver Center, Long Wharf (Tony Kushner, director), Huntington (Eric Simonson, director); Wisconsin Shakespeare. National Broadway tour of A Few Good Men (Don Scardino, director, with Michael O’Keefe, Paul Winfield, and Scott Sowers). Television credits include Law & Order.

The Aspen Music Festival is an eight-week summer program of more than 320 events, including orchestral concerts, chamber music, opera, contemporary music, master classes, lectures, and children’s programs. This year’s theme is Arts Inspires Art, featuring music that has been inspired by literature, painting, sculpture, poetry, architecture, and abstract ideas. The Hamlet production is part of a two-week mini-festival exploring Shakespeare’s presence in music. For more information about the Aspen Music Festival, visit: www.aspenmusicfestival.com.

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust was created in 1965 from the estate of William Rand Kenan, Jr.  Since 1966 when it began making grants, the Trust has awarded 930 grants valuing more than $432 million through the careful stewardship of generations of trustees dedicated to fulfilling Mr. Kenan’s philanthropic mission.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.