Co-starring as French plantation owner Emile de Becque will be renowned baritone Paulo Szot. Szot has previously appeared in the New York City Opera productions of L'Elisir d'Amore, Carmen and Le Nozze di Figaro. He made his operatic debut as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in his native Sao Paolo before going on to sing lead roles with major opera companies internationally.
Two-time Tony nominee O'Hara will be reunited with Light in the Piazza director Bartlett Sher, who will helm the Lincoln Center revival, the first since the musical's Broadway debut in 1949.
With a score by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein the II, South Pacific will feature sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer and musical direction by Ted Sperling.
Performances begin on the Vivian Beaumont Stage March 1, 2008, with an official opening set for April 3.
Kelli O'Hara was most recently on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of The Pajama Game, earning a Tony nomination for her performance as Babe. She was also Tony-nominated for her work as Clara in The Light in the Piazza. O'Hara's other Broadway credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Follies, Sweet Smell of Success and Dracula, the Musical. She was also recently seen in the Reprise! staging of Sunday in the Park with George. Based on James Michener's collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical focuses on a French planter, Emile de Becque and his love interest, Nellie Forbush, a naïve young nurse from Arkansas. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, South Pacific offers a lushly romantic score while challenging audiences with themes of racial intolerance and bigotry.
The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes numerous American songbook classics, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Wonderful Guy," "Younger Than Springtime," "Happy Talk," Bali H'ai" and "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." The original production featured Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza.