Starring Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Michael Cerveris, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony-winning musical will play the famed festival Aug. 22-23. Gemignani will conduct the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, which will be situated on stage with the actors.
Paul Gemignani received a 2001 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement for his career as musical director for over 35 Broadway musicals. He conducted the original Broadway productions of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins, Anyone Can Whistle, Follies and Passion.
Gemignani has guest-conducted the Boston, San Francisco, Buffalo and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and has both conducted and recorded with the Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras. He received Grammy nominations for the recordings of Passion, Crazy for You and Kiss Me, Kate.
Based on Ettore Scola's Italian film "Passion d'Amore," Passion opened on Broadway on May 9, 1994, with a cast that featured Jere Shea (Giorgio), Marin Mazzie (Clara) and Donna Murphy (Fosca). The tale of obsessive love includes such Sondheim tunes as "Happiness," "I Read," "I Wish I Could Forget You," "Loving You" and "No One Has Ever Loved Me." The original Broadway production received the 1994 Tony Award for Best Musical; Donna Murphy also garnered her first Tony for Best Actress in a Musical, and Sondheim and Lapine were awarded prizes for, respectively, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.
The Ravinia theatre is located in Highland Park, IL; for more information, go to www.ravinia.org.