March 22, 2013/For Immediate Release, high res. photos available
Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891,


Film version of acclaimed 2012 stage production scheduled to air
at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9  

(Winston-Salem) The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and UNC-TV will treat North Carolinians to the American premiere of William Shakespeare’s most spirited comedy performed with Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s complete score. The film version of UNCSA’s acclaimed 2012 production of Much Ado About Nothing will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9.

A new edition of Korngold’s score was prepared by the music-publishing house, Schott, in collaboration with world-renowned conductor and UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri, who was musical director for UNCSA’s eight performances of Much Ado About Nothing in April 2012. It marked the first time the complete score was performed with the Shakespeare play in the United States, and the first fully integrated production since the music was outlawed by the Nazis in 1933.

Much Ado About Nothing was performed by college seniors in the School of Drama, directed by Assistant Dean of Drama Bob Francesconi. Mauceri conducted members of the Symphony Orchestra from the School of Music. A two-time Emmy Award-winner for Hollywood Bowl Orchestra broadcasts, Mauceri also produced the Much Ado About Nothing television broadcast. Emmy Award-winning television director David Stern directed the UNC-TV camera crews in taping the stage production.

Much Ado About Nothing     Photo by G. Allen Aycock

UNCSA’s School of Design & Production constructed all elements of the stage production, including the scenic designs by John V. Bowhers, then a fourth-year college student 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, who has served on the UNCSA Design & Production faculty since 1974.

Mauceri said the broadcast of Much Ado About Nothing will allow viewers to rediscover an artistic genre that has been lost for almost a lifetime. “Before there was movie music, there were fully staged plays with orchestral music played live, in the pit,” he said.

Perhaps the world’s foremost expert on film music, Mauceri said music for the cinema is part of a much older tradition that emanates from Europe’s great theatres. “By recreating this form of symphonic theatre, and partnering with UNC-TV to make it widely available across the state, we have the opportunity to bring that magnificent art form back to life,” he said.

The broadcast of Much Ado About Nothing is the second collaboration among UNCSA, UNC-TV, and Stern, made possible by a half-million-dollar grant from The A.J. Fletcher Foundation of Raleigh.  The gift, $100,000 a year for five years, exposes statewide audiences to UNCSA’s talented students by broadcasting their performances over UNC-TV. Additional support was provided by The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and The William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund for the Arts.

The award-winning broadcast of UNCSA’s 2011 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! was the first collaboration. UNC-TV has also filmed UNCSA’s 2012 Spring Dance performances of Swan Lake, Act II, and Kingdom by bold contemporary choreographer Larry Keigwin. Those programs will be broadcast later this year.

Shannon Vickery, director of production for UNC-TV, said the broadcast of Much Ado About Nothing will be the highlight of UNC-TV’s spring original production schedule.  “We are proud to continue this collaboration with the UNC School of the Arts on performance programs.  UNC-TV is proud to share the talent of UNCSA students, faculty and staff with viewers across the state,” she said. 

Writing for Classical Voice North Carolina, Peter Perret said the stage production featured superb acting and spectacular music. “This performance of Shakespeare’s comic portrayal of two intertwined pairs of lovers who meet (and mete out) treachery, buffoonery, deception, but eventually, a happy ending, is testimony to the richness that UNCSA brings to the Triad, and to the high ideals it serves,” he wrote.

Winston-Salem Journal reviewer Ken Keuffel said “a popular Shakespeare comedy has seldom sounded so good.”

Korngold’s score, commissioned when the Viennese composer was only 22 years old and known throughout Europe as the great Wunderkind of the age, 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 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.

A recording of the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra performance of Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing score will be released on CD by Toccata Classics in April.

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

UNC-TV is North Carolina’s member-supported, 12-station statewide public television network committed to bringing life-changing television to all North Carolinians. For more information, visit