UM Frost School of Music Presents ‘LANZA!’

October 25, 2010 — Coral Gables, FL — The students of the University of Miami Frost School of Music together with Grammy Award-winning music producer Phil Ramone will be premiering LANZA!--a new musical about the tragic life of operatic tenor and Hollywood actor Mario Lanza at the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables) on November 9th, 2010 at 8 PM. ‘LANZA!’ will be presented as a “reading” in concert form, with a live orchestra. Tickets range from $15 to $50.

The book is by Richard Vetere, commissioned by Phil Ramone and Sonny Grosso.

The story of Mario Lanza is both compelling and fascinating. Lanza was a rising star in the 1950s before succumbing to his own personal demons and compulsive personality. The intention of the project is to provide a glimpse into the self-destructive life of one of American pop culture’s incredibly influential figures. This is a timeless theme that unfortunately repeats itself over and over again, as seen with Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi, Kurt Cobain and others.

The musical will involve numerous departments within the Frost School of Music. Frost students in the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program are composing the songs and Studio Jazz Writing and Media Writing and Production students are writing the orchestrations. The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra will perform the score, while vocalists in Musical Theatre and Opera will comprise the cast, along with students from University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts. Finally, Music Engineering students are recording the cast album and designing high-tech electronic sets for the live production. In addition, select students from the UM School of Communication will assist in chronicling the behind-the-scenes footage into a documentary.

The event is the capstone achievement of the inaugural graduating class of the newly established “Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment” graduate program, who together with Music Business students will oversee all aspects of production and marketing.

"There may not be another music school in the country that can pull together a project of this scope,” said Shelly Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music, in anticipation of the musical. “It is a fabulous, real-world experience for our students – working with one of popular music’s greatest icons, Phil Ramone. And, the result will be a truly great show!”

Executive Producer Phil Ramone who has worked with such high-profile acts such as Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand is also extremely optimistic of the potential for a future run-away Broadway hit.

For ticket information or more details, call 305-284-8289 or visit the Frost School of Music website www.music.miami.edu.

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The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of our diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. http://www.miami.edu.


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Hollywood idol Mario Lanza is the fascinating subject of a new musical in development at the Frost School of Music.