University of Rochester

EVENT: Broadway Producer Takes Questions from University of Rochester Students

March 22, 2005

Renowned producer/director Harold Prince will sit down for an “Inside the Actors Studio” style of interview as part of his upcoming Rochester visit. The director of such Broadway productions as Cabaret and The Phantom of the Opera will be in the spotlight at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music during an event that’s free and open to the public.

In town that day as a judge for the Lotte Lenya Singing Competition, Prince will be interviewed by Kim Kowalke, the Richard L. Turner Professor of Humanities at the University of Rochester. He also will respond to questions submitted by students in Kowalke’s “Sondheim and the Modern Musical Theater” class. Prince has collaborated for years with composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

Among the shows Prince has directed are She Loves Me, Company, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Evita. He was the producer of West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof. His opera productions have been seen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Theater Colon in Buenos Aires, and other venues. Prince is preparing a new version of The Phantom of the Opera to open in Las Vegas in 2006 at The Venetian Hotel.

Hailed internationally as one of the foremost directors or our time, Prince has won 20 Tony Awards, more than any other person in the history of American theater. He was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1994 and received the National Medal of Arts in 2000. The University of Rochester awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1997.

In another Rochester connection, Prince apprenticed to legendary director George Abbott in the early 1950s. Abbott was a 1911 University of Rochester graduate.

The Lotte Lenya Singing Competition is sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. The Foundation preserves and promotes the legacy of Weill, the German-born composer of such works at The Threepenny Opera, and his wife Lenya, herself a singer and actress. Prince and Kowalke were asked to join the Foundation’s board by Lenya in 1980. Kowalke is an internationally known authority on the composer and currently heads the foundation’s board.

Prince directed Lenya in the original Broadway cast of Cabaret in 1966 and is currently developing a musical based on the letters of Weill and Lenya published in the collection Speak Low (When You Speak Love), which was co-edited by Kowalke.

For more information, contact the Department of Music in the University’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at (585) 275-2828.