Victor/Victoria Composer Henry Mancini Commemorated on a U.S. Postage Stamp

News   Victor/Victoria Composer Henry Mancini Commemorated on a U.S. Postage Stamp
 
Legendary film composer Henry Mancini will be honored on a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in spring of 2004. The stamp will be unveiled at UCLA's Royce Hall, Aug. 16.

"Henry Mancini's influence on the music industry has never been stronger, and this stamp is a special way to pay tribute to his enduring genius," said Postmaster General John E. Potter.

The stamp — painted by artist Victor Stabin — depicts Mancini conducting among the titles of his popular film and television projects appear to scroll on a screen behind him. His songs for Victor/Victoria were heard in the Broadway stage version of the popular film of the same name (Leslie Bricusse was his lyricist for the project, and composer Frank Wildhorn wrote additional musical material for the stage show).

An Academy Award winner for his scoring on the movies "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Victor/Victoria," Mancini provided music for hundreds of television and film works. Among his most famous works include "Peter Gunn," "Moon River" and "The Pink Panther." The Cleveland-born composer — born Enrico Nicola Mancini — started out as a pianist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In 1947, Mancini married singer Ginny O'Connor and headed to California where he found success at various jobs including performing, composing and arranging music.

"Henry would never have imagined the magnitude of the influence he has had in the world of music. This stamp represents that impact, and his family is justifiably proud," stated wife Ginny Mancini.

Composer Mancini also worked on the films "Days of Wine and Roses," "Charade" and "Wait Until Dark"and wrote themes for "Mr. Lucky," "Newhart," "Remington Steele" and "Hotel" among other TV shows. Late night host Craig Kilborn will host the unveiling ceremony with Ginny Mancini, Quincy Jones and Clint Eastwood scheduled to appear. Jazz artists Diana Krall and Arturo Sandoval will perform at the event.

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Otis Sallid will direct and choreograph a new conceptual musical, The Mancini Project, which has an eye toward Broadway, premiering in a staging by the Helen Hayes Theatre Company in Nyack, NY.

The Mancini Project will feature musical numbers from films as diverse as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Charade" to "The Days of Wine and Roses" and "Victor/Victoria." Mancini died in 1994. His themes and songs are part of the American soundtrack and are heard in elevators, ads, cartoons and on radio. Two of his famous compositions are "The Baby Elephant Walk" and "The Pink Panther." The Mancini Project will play the Hayes Oct. 18-Nov. 2.

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