Stephen Schwartz At Work On A New Musical
We always love hearing of new projects theatre people are working on! Most of the time, they become public simply because someone could not resist chatting about it! However, this project was brought into the spotlight quite purposefully and thanks to our friends over at Playbill! One of the most beloved composers and lyricists of our generation is at work again on a new stage show! Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Tony Award nominee Stephen Schwartz is at work on a brand new musical!
In an exclusive interview with Playbill.com, Tony Award nominee Stephen Schwartz has revealed he is headed across the pond as he continues to work on a brand new musical! The new musical, titled Emanuel and Eleonore, tells the story of Emanuel Schikaneder and his wife, Eleonore. Both characters are based off of real people. Schwartz described the musical as a “sort of a backstage romantic comedy” which takes place in the 1790’s. The musical will reportedly discuss how Emanuel’s many relationships with others not only complicated their personal but also professional life as Eleonore was a major factor in his writing. Emanuel Schikaneder (Pictured Right) is best known for being a frequent collaborator of Mozart and being the librettist for The Magic Flute and many other operas.
Collaborating with Schwartz on the project is Christian Struppeck. Struppeck will write the libretto for the musical and actually brought the idea to Schwartz. Struppeck met Stephen while working as a performer in The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Germany, which Schwartz wrote the lyrics for. Struppeck will write the libretto in English and it was will translated into German by Michael Kunze. Kunze translatted Wicked into German for Schwartz. According to the interview with Playbill, Schwartz disclosed that Act I is finished and Act II is in the works. The two are meeting in London alongside Tony Award winner Trevor Nunn who will direct the world premiere of Emanuel and Eleonore.
The musical is set to premiere in Vienna, Austria in the Fall of 2016. Christian Struppeck is general artistic director of the Raimund Theatre and the Ronacher Theatre there which is why that’s where the production will first debut. At this time, is unclear what the musical’s life will look like beyond that.
Stephen Schwartz is an American lyricist and composer best known for his work on the screen and stage. Born in 1948, Schwartz studied piano and composition at Julliard while still in high school. He attend Carnegie Mellon where he received a BFA in drama. He has written close to 20 stage shows, many of which have appeared on Broadway. He is best known for Godspell, Pippin, The Baker’s Wife, Rags, Children of Eden and Wicked. On screen, he has worked on Godspell, Disney’s Pocahontas, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Disney’s The Prince of Eygpt, Enchanted and others. From 2009 until just this year, Schwartz served as the President of the Dramatists Guild of America. He is the recipient of four Drama Desk Awards, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, one Golden Globe and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. He was recently announced as the recipient of the 2015 Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony Award, for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.
I’m very excited to hear that Stephen Schwartz is at work on a new musical! I’m even more excited to hear about this following the news last season that a new musical he was working on, Houdini, had been sidelined permanetly for the time being. Schwartz is one of the best lyricists of our times. No doubt. No questions asked. His fantastic work cannot only be found on the stage but on the screen as well. He has a very specific style as all composers do. However, his style is one that has kept, what seemed like period pieces, Godspell and Pippin still relevant today. I am looking forward to seeing how this new production does across the pond and what future life may be in store for it! It is very specific. A specific story, a specific time period and specific feel it will need to have. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to see what is brought to the table.
Luner on Theatre will keep you up to date on this new Stephen Schwartz musical in the works! We hope to learn more about this production as it moves forward to making it’s world premiere and first bow on stage in Europe! Just because it’s across the pond doesn’t mean we won’t bring the news your way! Stay tuned for another update! We’d like to thank Playbill.com for this exclusive interview with Schwartz which provided much of the information above. For more information, visit Stephen Schwartz’s Official Website. And of course, be sure to check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know!