Bard Music Festival Presents
Program Ten: The American Musical on Stage and Screen10 am Performance with Commentary
Works by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957); Jerome Kern (1885–1945); George Gershwin (1898–1937); Kurt Weill (1900–1950); Leonard Bernstein (1918–90); and others.
Korngold’s only movie musical was Give Us This Night, set to lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and featuring Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Gladys Swarthout and Polish tenor Jan Kiepura, who had previously starred in European productions of the composer’s operas. Bard’s second performance with commentary, Program Ten combines excerpts from this seldom-heard score with selections by other great 20th-century masters of the movie musical and Broadway. These include Jerome Kern, whose many Hammerstein collaborations included Show Boat, and George Gershwin, whose contributions to musical comedy include Girl Crazy and Of Thee I Sing, the first example of the genre to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Threepenny Opera was the only one of Kurt Weill’s numerous theater works to be adapted for the cinema, whereas all three of Leonard Bernstein’s musicals –West Side Story, Wonderful Town, and On the Town – were successes on both stage and screen.