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.
The musical features book and lyrics by Barry Singer. Duke is the late composer whose enduring songs include "Autumn in New York," "April in Paris," "I Can't Get Started" and "Taking a Chance on Love."
Krasker told Playbill.com, "When Barry and Duke's widow, Kay Duke Ingalls, came to me last summer, to ask about PS Classics recording Misia, we all had the same name in mind for the title role: Marin. The songs are as demanding yet rewarding as anything in the Duke catalog, full of beautiful long-lined melodies; it's the kind of material that Marin – with that voice that can break your heart – is a master at delivering. Marin signed on, and then one by one, the most extraordinary group of people agreed to join us."
The recording also features 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 and Darcy Dunn as Jeanne Charco.
Music direction is by Scott Dunn, associate conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the leading proponent of Duke's concert music.
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.