The original Dutch Cast recording of the musical Elisabeth was presented on Nov. 5, 1999, to Princes Stephanie Zu Windisch Graetz, great great granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Pia Douwes, who plays the title role in the musical, made the presentation in the intermission of the fifth tryout performance of Elisabeth.
Elisabeth was written by Sylvester Levay (music) and Michael Kunze (book and lyrics) and was originally premiered at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on Sept. 3, 1992. It played in Vienna until April 25, 1998. The musical also was performed in Hungary, Japan and Sweden.
The Dutch production of Elisabeth will have its premiere on Nov. 21, 1999, at the VSB Circustheater in Scheveningen. Tryout performances started on Oct 30. The cast is led by the Dutch actress Pia Douwes as Elisabeth. Douwes created the role of Elisabeth in the original production in Vienna. Other roles are played by Stanley Burleson (Billy Flynn in the Dutch production of Chicago) as The Death, Wim van den Driessche (Alternate Engineer in the Dutch production of Miss Saigon) as Luigi Lucheni, Jeroen Phaff (Alternate Count Krolock in Tanz der Vampire in Vienna) as Emperor Franz Josef, Doris Baaten (among many roles Mrs. Johnstone in the Dutch production of Blood Brothers) as Archduchess Sophie and Addo Kruizinga, who played The Death in Elisabeth in Vienna, as Crown Prince Rudolph.
Elisabeth is directed by Eddy Habbema, who directed Cyrano, the musical both in The Netherlands and on Broadway, with Maurice Luttikhuis as musical director. Other members of the creative team include the famous Dutch ballet choreographer Toer van Schayk, who makes his first choreography for a musical with this show. The set is designed by Paul Gallis, costumes by Yan Tax; sound design is by Rogier van Rossum, lighting design by Reinier Tweebeeke and wigs and make up by Sjoerd Didden and Winnie Gallis. The musical was translated by Seth Gaaikema and is produced by Holland1s largest legit producer, Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties.
The 55-minute highlight recording consist of 16 musical numbers which were recorded during the rehearsals at the Bullet Sound Studios in Nederhorst den Berg. The CD is released on the Polydor label, a division of Universal Music. For more information about the musical and ticket sales: www.sissi.nl and www.musicals.nl The website of the record company is www.universalmusic.nl
-- By Maxim Bezembinder