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A Utah Original Making it Big in Europe

LEND ME A TENOR THE MUSICAL Oper Leipzig Anne-Kathrin Fischer, Ariane Liebau, Verena Barth-Jurca and Patrick Rohbeck Photo Bettina Stöss

LEND ME A TENOR THE MUSICAL Oper Leipzig Anne-Kathrin Fischer, Ariane Liebau, Verena Barth-Jurca and Patrick Rohbeck Photo Bettina Stöss

Lend Me A Tenor The Musical, written by SUU’s own Peter Sham & Brad Carroll, made its world premiere at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City in 2007. Earlier this month, it made its German debut at Oper Leipzig.

Based on the award-winning West End and Broadway hit comedy by Ken Ludwig, Lend Me a Tenor is set in 1934 Cleveland, Ohio, where the world’s greatest tenor Tito Merelli who has come to Cleveland to save its Grand Opera Company by singing Verdi’s Otello. When he is unexpectedly incapacitated, Max, the opera director’s meek assistant, is given the daunting task of finding a last-minute replacement. Of course chaos ensues – including a scheming soprano, a tenor-struck ingénue, a jealous wife, shrimp gone bad and the Cleveland Police department.

This new German production features the subtitle of Otello Must Not Burst (the German title of Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor) and is part of Oper Zeipzig’s Musical Comedy division. The production is directed by Volker Vogel and features musical direction by Roland Seiffarth and choreography by Giorgio Madia. Both Peter Sham and Brad Carroll have been able to see photos of the production. “Design-wise it looks hilarious” says Sham, “Brad and I wish them the very best.”

Peter Sham is associate chair/director of theatre for Southern Utah University’s Department of Theatre Arts & Dance. In addition to Lend me a Tenor the Musical, Peter is the author of the musicals, Toyland, It’s a Dog’s Life: Man’s Best Musical; and the plays, Shakespeare’s Moby Dick, a classical adaptation of Herman Melville’s American masterpiece, and A Christmas Carol On the Air among others. Brad Carroll is a recognized regional director, music director and composer whose work has taken him all over the US as well as to Europe, Japan and the UK. He is co-creating a musical stage adaptation of the animated feature Christmas is Here Again, commissioned by Renegade Animation in Los Angeles. He recently made his first foray into film, scoring the independent short, X-Treme Weekend. As a Writer, Director and Musical Arranger for Walt Disney Entertainment, Brad was involved in the creation of three new shows for the multi-billion dollar TokyoDisneySea theme park that opened in Japan in 2001. His musical arrangements/orchestrations have been performed by such prestigious organizations as the San Francisco Symphony and the Boston Pops. His long association with the Utah Shakespeare Festival includes directing the Festival’s immensely popular production of Les Misérables and continues in summer 2013 with his direction of Anything Goes. For Southern Utah University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, he directed Into the Woods, Little Women the Broadway Musical and the recent highly successful production of CHICAGO the Musical.

Laura Durham works for KUED Channel-7 in the Creative Services Department, curating community engagement projects for both PBS and KUED productions that foster trust and value to the communities in Utah. She also produces Contact with Mary Dickson and Contact in the Community — a digital series featuring arts and culture groups in Utah. Prior to her work at KUED, Laura spent 15 years at the Utah Division of Arts & Museums in the visual arts program and later managing communications, branding, marketing, and public value projects for all arts and museums programming. She has served the Utah community in various capacities with her role as Vice President of the Salt Lake Gallery Association and Program Director for the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. She lives in Salt Lake City, sings with Utah Chamber Artists, and loves to contribute to 15 Bytes as often as time allows.

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