A Tribute To Leonard Bernstein

About Leonard Bernstein | About the program

Tribute to Leonard Bernstein Download a p[oster or press release

About Leonard Bernstein:

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts and educated at Boston Latin and Harvard, Leonard Bernstein composed for orchestra, chamber ensembles, ballet, and solo voice. In addition to his notoriety as a pianist and conductor, his scores for the Broadway musical stage and film venues are legendary. But it is probably the “Young People’s Concerts” with the New York Philharmonic that introduced him to a nationwide audience, as these telecasts gave an entire generation new found interest in classical music.

About the program:

Longwood Opera is proud to be presenting a variety of work featuring the music and lyrics of Leonard Bernstein. The first half of the program is devoted to the concert performance of his more sacred compositions and music composed for musical theater and film. These include

MASS—Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 1971. It combines Bernstein’s musical impressionism of jazz, Broadway, folk and rock and his deep sense of faith and reverence during a turbulent social period.

CANDIDE—A satirical masterpiece telling the story of a young man’s determination to follow his mentor’s creed of blind faith and optimism, first produced at New York’s Martin Beck Theatre in December 1956. It has since enjoyed numerous revisions—from single act theater to grand opera.

ON THE TOWN—“New York, New York, it’s a helluva town, the Bronx is up and the Battery’s down…” Three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in the world’s most vibrant city. Made famous in a lyrical, tuneful MGM movie starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.

PETER PAN—One of Bernstein’s lesser-known works starred Boris Karloff as Capt. Hook and was produced in New York in 1950. Bernstein’s music and lyrics were considered simple, yet effective and the show ran for nearly a year.

WONDERFUL TOWN—A musical tale based on the play, “My Sister Eileen.” Bernstein collaborated with Betty Comden and Adolph Greene in this Broadway triumph filled with memorable music and lyrics. Two Midwestern small town girls follow their aspirations to a wonderful town—New York!

WEST SIDE STORY—Classic theater and perhaps Bernstein’s most famous work. Mix in lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the backdrop of New York tenements and the drama of star-crossed lovers, and you have one of the most popular of all American musicals.

TROUBLE IN TAHITI—This fully staged, costumed opera occupies the second half of Longwood’s “A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein.” It satirizes the “comfort of suburbia” in the 1950s. Inspired by jazz, and American musical comedy, the score and lyrics are a biting commentary on the emptiness of materialistic values and false promises of suburban life during the era.

Longwood Opera
42 Hawthorne Avenue
Needham, Massachusetts 02492-3806

For more information call (781) 455-0960 or send e-mail to Encore@LongwoodOpera.org

Last updated on May 28, 2004 by Marion Leeds Carroll  (longwood@leedscarroll.com)