Concert program for the New Opera Company's performance of The Merry Widow, an operetta by Franz Lehar, with English lyrics by Adrian Ross and new orchestration by Robert Stolz. The production was staged and directed by Felix Brentano, choreography by George Balanchine, conductor, Angelo Canarutto. The title roles were sung by Polish tenor Jan Kiepura and San Francisco born-and-bred soprano Wilma Spence. The Company gave performances on the evenings of August 27th to August 30th.
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THE RECORD SHOP Phil Hart, Manager presents 'THE MERRY WIDOW" Starring JAN KIEPURA NEW OPERA COMPANY PRODUCTION IN THE PORTLAND AUDITORIUM August 27th to 30th, 1944 AT 8:30 P.M. THE RECORD SHOP, PHIL HART, Manager, in cooperation with the CALIFORNIA OPERETTA FESTIVAL, Paul Posz, Manager, presents Music by FRANZ LEHAR New Musical Version by ROBERT STOLZ JAN KIEPURA in The New Opera Company Production of THE MERRY WIDOW with WILMA SPENCE New Book by SIDNEY SHELDON and BEN ROBERTS Scenery by HOWARD BAY ... Costumes by WALTER FLORELL Production Staged and Directed by FELIX BRENTANO . . Conductor: ANGELO CANARUTTO Lyrics by ADRIAN ROSS Choreography by GEORGE BALANCHINE CAST (In Order of Appearance) THE KING JOHN HARROLD POPOFF KARL FARKAS JOLIDON JOHN GARRIS NATALIE RUTH MATTESON OLGA BARDINI JANIE JANVIER GENERAL BARDINI MALCOLM LEE BEGGS NOVAKOVICH PAUL BEST CASCADA ALEX ALEXANDER KHADJA DAVID MORRIS GUESTS MARIE FOX DENNIS DENGATE NISH NORMAN BUDD A PARISIAN JEROME CARDINALE SONIA SADOYA WILMA SPENCE PRINCE DANILO JAN KIEPURA CLO-CLO LISETTE VEREA LO-LO CYPRIENNE GABLEMAN FROU-FROU MARGARET GIBSON DO-DO BABS HEATH MARGOT FLORENCE BERLINE JOU-JOU ALLA SHISHKINA PREMIERE DANSEUSES MONNA MONTES BABS HEATH NINA POPOVA PREMIER DANCER JACK GANSERT GASTON ALAN VAUGHAN LADIES OF THE ENSEMBLE: Cathleen Chambers, Connie Clark, Jean Darrell, Janie Janvier, Lila King, Loretta Schere, Maxine Shrader, Marie Fox, Lucille Lewis, Frances Maddaford, Florence McGovern. GENTLEMEN OF THE ENSEMBLE: Jerome Cardinale, John Harrold, Paul Mario, Alfred Morgan, William Sydenstricker, Edward Visca, Dennis Dengate, Michael Kazaras, Louis Reed, Ludlow White. BALLET: Cyprienne Gableman, Florence Berline, Alia Shishkina, Margaret Gibson, Teddi Sanders, Lavina Nielsen, Stanley Zompakos, Joseph Levinoff, Charles Bockman, Aleks Bird, Eric Shephard, Frank Lobosco. Special lyrics by Robert Gilbert "Kuiawiak" music by Henri Wieniawski; arranged by Jan Kiepura French song "Y A D'La Joie" by Miss Verea courtesy E. B. Marks The Merry Widow presented by arrangement with Taras-Witmark Music Library Inc., N. Y. CREDITS Scenery constructed by William Kellam Co. Painted byCentre Studios. Electrical equipment byDuwico. Draperies by I. Weiss & Sons. Costumes executed by Eaves and Brooks. Fabrics by Dazian. Shoes by Capezio. Hosiery by Jessie Zimmer. Third act furs courtesy of I. J. Fox. Properties by Newel An Galleries, The Danby Co. Inc., Greene's Lighting Fixtures, John Bergonzi Inc. wigs by Barris. Hats designed and executed by Walter Florell. Hair styles and make-up created by Charles of the Ritz. ACT I 1. Prologue. 2. The Marsovian Embassy in Paris. A Summer Evening in the Year 1906. "A Dutiful Wife" Ruth Matteson and John Garris "In Marsovia" Wilma Spence with Malcolm Lee Beggs, Alex Alexander, Jerome Cardinale, and Male Chorus "Maxim's" Jan Kiepura "Polka" Nina Popova, Jack Gansert "Finale" Jan Kiepura, Wilma Spence, Karl Farkas, Malcolm Lee Beggs, Alex Alexander and the Ensemble ACT II Grounds of Sonia's House, near Paris: the Following Evening Marsovian Dance Jack Gansert, Babs Heath, and Corps de Ballet "Vilia" Wilma Spence "The Pavilion" Jan Kiepura "The Women" (A) Karl Farkas, Malcolm Lee Beggs, John Garris, David Morris, Norman Budd, Paul Best and Alex Alexander (B) The above with Margaret Gibson and Alia Shishkina (C) Florence McGovern, Lucille Lewis, Connie Clark, Lila King, Frances Maddaford "I Love You So" Sung by Jan Kiepura and Wilma Spence Danced by Monna Montes, Jack Gansert and Corps de Ballet "Finale" Entire Company ACT III Maxim's Restaurant, Paris. Later That Same Evening. "The Girls at Maxim's" Sung by Lisette Verea; Danced by Nina Popova and Ballet Girls "Kuiawiak" Sung in Polish by Jan Kiepura "I Love You So" (Reprise) Jan Kiepura and Wilma Spence "Finale" The Entire Company STAFF FOR THE PRODUCTION Milton Baron Business Manager Harold C. Jacoby Company Manager Peggy Phillips Press Representative Andy Anderson. .Production Stage Mgr. Edward Brinkmann Stage Manager Stanley Zompakos Asst. Stage Mgr. Don Bailey Master Carpenter Clarence WellsMaster Electrician Edward Donnelly Master of Property Gussie Reid Wardrobe Mistress Booked through David Libidins, Booking Office, 113 West 57th Street, New York, N. Y. Who's Who in the Cast JAN KIEPURA (Danilo) was born in Sonowicz, Poland, where music was considered a frivolous diversion. Packed off to the Warsaw University Law School by a father who couldn't understand why Jan preferred singing to a business career, he mastered the study of jurisprudence, then made his operatic debut in "Faust" at the State Opera in Warsaw. In Vienna, where he played the leading role in the last Puccini opera. "Turandot," his success was sensational, which made his three-year stay at La Scala. the world's most celebrated opera theatre, almost inevitable. After that he sang all over Europe, North and South America, and appeared in six pictures, the most successful of which were "Be Mine Tonight" and "My Heart Is Calling." He is well known to audiences at the Metropolitan Opera House, having first appeared there in 1938 as Rodolfo in "La Boheme." WILMA SPENCE (Sonia) is San Francisco born and bred. She has sung with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera Company. She also appeared in the Berkeley Greek Theatre production of Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld.'" KARL FARKAS (Popoff) was the boy wonder of Vienna, where he was a successful author, producer and actor — at the age of 22! He is best known, perhaps, as the author and star of "Wonder Bar," the AI Jolson stage and screen vehicle of some years back. In the United States he has appeared in "Die Fledermaus" and "The Gypsy Baron." RUTH MATTESON (Natalie), a native of California, joined the Redmond Stock Company while attending San Jose State College. After subsequent stage experience with Henry Duffy's Stock Company, she appeared with the Southampton Players where she was seen by Guthrie McClintic, and shortly afterward appeared under his direction in "Parnell." Her subsequent Broadway appearances include "The Night of January 16." "Wingless Victory," "What a Life!" "The Male Animal," and "One for the Money." She is making her musical debut in "The Merry Widow." MALCOLM LEE BEGGS (General Bardini), a New Yorker of theatrical parentage, made his stage debut at the age of four. He reversed the usual procedure of going from stage to movies by spending his childhood in the movies under contract to Vitagraph where his father was one of the pioneer picture directors. He has since played in over 500 performances in stock, and on Broadway was seen in "Sailor, Beware,'' "Kiss the Boys Goodbye," and as the fiery Teddy Brewster in "Arsenic and Old Lace." JOHN GARRIS (Jolidon), versatile tenor from the Metropolitan Opera Company, began his career as a pianist, achieving renown on the concert stages of Europe while still in his teens. Later he essayed the role of conductor at the State Operas of Berlin and Munich. He has since sung leading roles with the Munich Opera, the Athens Royal Opera, the St. Louis Municipal Theatre, the San Francisco Opera Company, and the Metropolitan Opera Company. LISETTE VEREA (Clo-Clo) is making her American debut with "The Merry Widow." A native of Rumania, she was the Bucharest star of such American imports as "The Front Page," "Kiki," "I Married An Angel," "White Horse Inn" and "The Women." NORMAN BUDD (Nish), a Liverpool-born Englishman, paradoxically enough played the thoroughly American Dude in "Tobacco Road" for more than a thousand times on Broadway and on the road. Besides appearing in such films as "Dr. Kildare," "Turnabout," "Buried Alive," and others, he numbers among his Broadway stage appearances, "As You Like It," "Julius Caesar," "The Eternal Road" and "They Should Have Stood in Bed." FELIX BRENTANO (The Director) is staging his third production for The New Opera Company with "The Merry Widow." Last season's "Rosalinda," and the previous season's "La Vie Parisienne" were also directed by him, and he has won for himself much credit for injecting new life into old classics. At nineteen he directed his first play at Vienna's Josefstadt Theatre. The next year he did a musical jazz version of "Charley's Aunt" which was successful enough to repeat in Berlin and Copenhagen. He came to the United States as associate director for the Hollywood Bowl production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In 1937 he staged "La Serva Padrona" to general acclaim. The first American Mozart Festival, Ernest Toch's "The Princess and the Pea," "Yeoman of the Guard," "Faust," Hindemith's "There and Return," "The Bartered Bride," "Secrets of Suzanne," followed. Serve your country in the uniform of the WAC.
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August 27, 1944