BARRY SINGER

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MISIA: A New Musical


MISIA is a new musical with a previously unknown score by the legendary composer Vernon Duke, whose hit songs include “Autumn in New York,” “April in Paris,” “I Can’t Get Started,” and “Taking a Chance on Love.” MISIA has been released in a world premiere recording by PS Classics that stars Marin Mazzie as Misia Sert, the infamous muse and patroness of fin de siecle Paris whose intimates and discoveries included Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Auguste Renoir, Marcel Proust, “Coco” Chanel and Serge Diaghilev, all of whom appear as characters in MISIA. The recording features new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick and an all-star Broadway cast: Bobby Steggert, Jonathan Freeman, Marc Kudisch, Jason Danieley, Lauren Worsham, Telly Leung, Philip Chaffin, Stephen DeRosa, Eddie Korbich and Darcy Dunn.

MISIA was brought to life after Barry Singer wrote an essay about Vernon Duke for the New York Times. The composer’s widow, Kay Duke Ingalls, asked to meet with Singer and proceeded to hand him something she called “The French Score,” a never-produced, unknown musical that Duke had written while living in Paris in 1949.

It was a tremendous discovery of a brilliant, lost Vernon Duke score. Duke’s widow next suggested that Singer turn the work into a new musical about Misia Sert, who had, in fact, once introduced Vladimir Dukelsky (Duke's original name in Russian) to Diaghilev – who commissioned a ballet from the 23-year-old composer.

Singer drafted an entirely new book and new lyrics around the Vernon Duke score and was also given access to the rest of Duke’s catalogue, including classical instrumental works written by Vladimir Dukelsky.

The result is a brand new Vernon Duke musical, featuring over 20 never-before-heard Vernon Duke melodies, a number of Duke’s less-well-known classical compositions and the full-length ballet that Duke originally wrote for the Ballet Russes.

MISIA received its world premiere as a staged reading at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. It then received two staged readings in New York under the auspices of Jujamcyn Theaters, directed by Mark Lamos, before being released on CD by PS Classics.


WRITING

~MISCELLANEOUS~
Articles from The New York Times, The New Yorker and more.
~Books~
"I cannot imagine a reader who admires Churchill not having a good time with this book. I know I did."
-Michael Korda
Winner ASCAP DEEMS TAYLOR AWARD for Music Writing.
"A superbly written, utterly fascinating survey of the recent, largely unchronicled history of the American musical."
-Robert Kimball
"Should readjust our perspective on the history of American popular song."
-Newsweek
~THEATER~
Music by Vernon Duke
Book & Lyrics by Barry Singer