Wildhorn and his frequent collaborator Jack Murphy (The Civil War) will write the show, inspired by the Alexandre Dumas pere novel, for a world premiere by Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland. The theatre announced on Nov. 7 that The Count of Monte Cristo will premiere March 14, 2009. The score's arrangements are by Koen Schoots, with orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg (a frequent Wildhorn collaborator, whose Broadway credits include Little Women, Civil War, Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll & Hyde).
The novel tells of the young sailor Edmond Dantès, who is — as many 19th-century French literary heroes seem to be — wrongly imprisoned. While incarcerated, a dying fellow prisoner tells him of a hidden fortune on the island of Monte Cristo. After he escapes prison, Edmond's tortuous route to the island leads him to treasure, allows him to change his identity and seek revenge on those who wronged him.
Tony Award-nominated composer Wildhorn is known for his pop scores to the Broadway musicals Dracula, The Civil War (with lyricist Murphy), The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jekyll & Hyde. He also contributed three songs to Broadway's Victor/Victoria.
Wildhorn and Murphy were nominated for the 1999 Tony Award for Best Original Score for The Civil War. The show was later adapted into a concert/theatre piece called For the Glory.
The feverishly creative Wildhorn juggles many projects at once, and his plate also includes the musicals Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (with Gregory Boyd and Murphy), an update of Carmen (with playwright Norman Allen and Murphy), Camille Claudel (with writer Nan Knighton) and Alice (based on "Alice in Wonderland," with Murphy).
For more information, visit www.frankwildhorn.com.