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March 2, 2012/For Immediate Release / High-res images available
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu

UNCSA TO PRESENT AMERICAN PREMIERE
OF SHAKESPEARE’S MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
WITH ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD’S
COMPLETE SCORE (Viel Lärmen um Nichts)

New Edition of Score Prepared by Schott Music
in Collaboration with World-Renowned Conductor
and UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will present the American premiere of Shakespeare’s spirited comedy Much Ado About Nothing with Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s complete score in a fully staged production March 29-April 7.

A new edition of the 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 will mark the first time the complete score has been performed with the Shakespeare play in the United States.

Indeed, it will be 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.

Rendering of the set by John Bowhers

“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.

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.”

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

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

The scenic designs are by John V. Bowhers, 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 will be designed by UNCSA’s Christine Turbitt, Director of the Costume Design and Technology Program, who has served on the UNCSA faculty since 1974. All elements of the production will be constructed by the students of the school, under the mentorship of their professional faculty.

Korngold’s granddaughter, Kathrin Korngold Hubbard, will be attending the opening performance with her husband, John Hubbard, an alumnus of UNCSA’s School of Music and a professional cellist. It is anticipated that Leslie Korngold, grandson of the composer, will also attend 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.

John Mauceri, Chancellor of UNCSA, 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.

Much Ado About Nothing will be filmed for television and broadcast on UNC-TV, as part of a grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and 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.

Performances will take place in Agnes de Mille Theatre on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem, at 8 p.m. March 29-31 and April 5-7, and at 2 p.m. March 31 and April 7.

For more information and ticket reservations, contact the UNCSA Box Office at 336-721-1945, or visit www.uncsa.edu/performances.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.

                       

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 For more information about UNCSA’s Much Ado About Nothing, see www.uncsa.edu/muchado.

For more information about UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri, see: http://www.uncsa.edu/chancellor/biography.htm and www.johnmauceri.com.

  

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