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UNCSA's Much Ado About Nothing will be broadcast on UNC-TV at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, 2013!

UNCSA's production of Much Ado About Nothing was presented on campus March 29-April 7, 2012. Thanks to the magic of television, you'll soon be able to see it again -- or, for the very first time!

The American premiere of

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare

Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Directed by Bob Francesconi,

School of Drama Assistant Dean

Musical Direction by John Mauceri,

UNCSA Chancellor

Shakespeare's most spirited and sophisticated battle of the sexes is set to Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score, performed by members of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra.


Members of Studio IV (college seniors) of the School of Drama

Members of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra of the School of Music


Bob Francesconi, Director   Chancellor John Mauceri, Musical Director


Much Ado about Nothing is directed by School of Drama Assistant Dean Bob Francesconi, distinguished teacher of acting, movement and mask, who has served on the faculty since 1978.

Much Ado's Musical Director is Chancellor John Mauceri, a world-renowned conductor with Grammy, Tony and Emmy awards to his credit. The founding director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Mauceri has carved a distinguished and extraordinary career that has taken him not only to the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood.

The cast includes the fourth-year undergraduate students in the School of Drama. The chamber orchestra comprises high school, college and graduate instrumentalists in the university’s School of Music, and is conducted by Chancellor Mauceri.


The scenic designs are by John V. Bowhers, then a fourth-year college student in the university’s School of Design & Production and the winner of the 2012 U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology’s W. Owen Parker Award, the highest award for a student scenic designer in the United States. The costumes are designed by Christine Turbitt, Director of the Costume Design and Technology Program in the School of Design & Production, who has served on the UNCSA faculty since 1974. All elements of the production are constructed by the students of the school, under the mentorship of their professional faculty.

"Much Ado About Nothing" was filmed for television and will be broadcast on UNC-TV as part of a grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, with generous support from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts. David Stern, who directed the cameras for UNCSA’s televised production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s "Oklahoma!" will direct the cameras.



Shakespeare's play and Korngold's score reunited

in American premiere at UNCSA

When the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) presents Shakespeare's spirited comedy Much Ado About Nothing with Erich Wolfgang Korngold's complete score, audiences will rediscover an artistic genre that has been lost for almost a lifetime. 

A new edition of the Korngold score has been prepared by the music-publishing house, Schott, in collaboration with world-renowned conductor and UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri for these performances, which marks the first time the complete score has been performed with the Shakespeare play in the United States.

Indeed, it is the first fully integrated production since the music was outlawed by the Nazis in 1933. The original conductor’s score (used by Korngold) and the set of parts used for the world premiere performances photocopied from the Austrian National Archives (Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek) have been made available to guide the restoration.

“The UNCSA production will afford audiences the rare opportunity to experience a type of theatre which was an entire genre from the 18th century to the first part of the 20th and is now, for all practicality, extinct,” said Chancellor Mauceri, who is Musical Director for Much Ado. “Before there was movie music, there were fully staged plays with orchestral music played live, in the pit. Now, we have the opportunity to bring that magnificent art form back to life once again,” said Mauceri, who is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on film music.

“Just as Beethoven wrote music for Goethe’s Egmont, and Schubert composed for the stage (Rosamunde), Mendelssohn (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Tchaikovsky (Hamlet), Shostakovich (Hamlet), Prokofiev (Eugene Onegin), and Sibelius (The Tempest) are just a few of the great composers whose work for the dramatic stage is simply unaffordable in today’s professional theatre economy,” Chancellor Mauceri continued. “It is my hope that in recreating this form of symphonic theatre, the public might better understand that music for the cinema is part of a much older tradition that emanates from Europe’s great theatres.”

Commissioned when the Viennese composer was only 22 years old and known throughout Europe as the great Wunderkind of the age, Korngold’s score was first heard at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace Theater (and subsequently at its Burgtheater, the home of the world premieres of Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte and le Nozze di Figaro as well as Beethoven’s first symphony) and was one of his most popular compositions, arranged for various ensembles, including a suite for solo violin and piano. Mahler called the youth “a genius” and Puccini referred to him as “miraculous.”

Korngold’s granddaughter, Kathrin Korngold Hubbard, attended the opening performance with her husband, John Hubbard, an alumnus of UNCSA’s School of Music and a professional cellist. Leslie Korngold, grandson of the composer, also attended with members of his family. The Korngold family, including the composer’s great-grandchildren, lives on the West Coast. Erich Wolfgang Korngold fled the Nazi regime and became the “father of the sound of Hollywood” with his scores for Warner Bros., winning two Academy Awards for his immense achievements. All of his manuscripts and documents were donated to the Library of Congress by his two sons.

Chancellor Mauceri has long championed the music banned by the Third Reich and has brought many modern premieres of the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold to various places in the world, including Berlin for the first-ever recording of Korngold’s epic opera Das Wunder der Heliane (1927). Winner of Germany’s highest awards for recordings (Deutsche Schallplatten and the ECHO Award), it has recently been re-released. Maestro Mauceri has also led first performances of Korngold’s music with the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.



Media Coverage:

Much Ado About Nothing - Superb Acting, Spectacular Music by Korngold

Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC), April 5, 2012


'Much Ado About Nothing' revives symphonic drama

Winston-Salem Journal, April 1, 2012


FLASH - THROUGH 4/7: Much Ado About Nothing - Superb Acting, Spectacular Music by Korngold in Its US Premiere at the UNCSA

Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC), March 30, 2012


UNC School of the Arts Opens BABBITT, 4/4; MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, 3/29, March 29, 2012


Score one for the Bard

Winston-Salem Journal, March 25, 2012


UNCSA presents Much Ado About Nothing

88.5 WFDD: Triad Arts Up Close, March 15, 2012

[Part 2] March 16, 2012

Announcements in Brief: American Premiere

Korngold's Music to Much Ado About Nothing in American Premiere at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

European American Music (EAM) Distributors, Feb. 28, 2012


Production photos by G. Allen Aycock