MISIA includes over 20 never-before-heard Duke melodies, a number of his less-well-known classical compositions and one full-length Duke ballet originally written for the Ballet Russes.
According to press notes, "The title character, Misia Sert, was the legendary muse and patroness of fin de siècle Paris, the subject of many paintings by an astonishing collection of extraordinary artists, including Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, each of whom appears as a character in the show. MISIA also brings to life Misia's many discoveries beyond the art world, including Coco Chanel, Serge Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Ravel and a 20-year-old Vladimir Dukelsky, who eventually changed his name to Vernon Duke."
A cast of Broadway veterans — including Marin Mazzie in the title role of Misia Sert, Bobby Steggert as Thadée Natanson, Jonathan Freeman as Serge Diaghilev, Marc Kudisch as Alfred Edwards, Jason Danieley as José-Maria Sert, Lauren Worsham as Geneviĕve Lantelme, Telly Leung as Pierre Bonnard, Philip Chaffin as Édouard Vuillard, Stephen DeRosa as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Eddie Korbich as Auguste Renoir, Darcy Dunn as Jeanne Charco and Graham Rowat as Marcel Proust — will assemble in a New York Studio Jan. 26-27 to record.
Music direction is by Scott Dunn, associate conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the leading proponent of Duke's concert music. Orchestrations are by Emmy, Tony, Grammy and Oscar winner Jonathan Tunick.
The disc will be produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker, who told Playbill.com that he anticipates a May 5 release date. The album is available for pre-order at PSClassics.com. MISIA began life after Barry Singer wrote an essay about Vernon Duke for The New York Times. The composer's widow, Kay Duke Ingalls, asked to meet with Singer and proceeded to hand him something she called "The French Score," a never-produced, unknown musical that Duke had written while living in Paris in 1949. Duke's widow gave Singer access to the rest of his unheard catalogue. She suggested that Singer draft a new book and lyrics around the tunes and that he focus on the life of Misia Sert, who once introduced Vladimir Dukelsky to Diaghilev — who commissioned a ballet from the 23-year-old composer.
MISIA received its world premiere as a staged reading at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. It then received two staged readings in New York under the auspices of the Jujamcyn Theater organization, directed by Mark Lamos.
For more information, visit PSClassics.com.