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Frost School of Music presents ‘Lanza’

8:00 pm

Frost School of Music students, together with Grammy Award-winning music producer Phil Ramone, will premiere the new musical they’ve created about the tragic life of operatic tenor and Hollywood actor Mario Lanza at the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables) on Tuesday, November 9 at 8 p.m. Lanza will be presented as a “reading” in concert form, with a live orchestra.

Lanza was a rising star in the 1950s before succumbing to his own personal demons and compulsive personality. The project’s intention is to provide a glimpse into the self-destructive life of one of American pop culture’s incredibly influential figures. This is a timeless theme that unfortunately repeats itself over and over, as seen with Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi, Kurt Cobain, and other artists.

The musical involves numerous Frost School departments: students in the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program composed the songs and Studio Jazz Writing and Media Writing and Production students wrote the orchestrations, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra will perform the score, while vocalists in Musical Theatre and Opera will comprise the cast, along with students from University of Miami’s Department of Theatre Arts. Finally, Music Engineering students are recording the cast album and designing high-tech electronic sets for the live production. In addition, select students from the School of Communication are helping to capture behind-the-scenes footage for a documentary.

The event is the capstone achievement for the inaugural graduating class of the newly established “Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment” graduate program. The class is also working with Music Business students to oversee all aspects of production and marketing.

“There may not be another music school in the country that can pull together a project of this scope,” said Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music, in anticipation of the musical. “It is a fabulous, real-world experience for our students—working with one of popular music’s greatest icons, Phil Ramone. And, the result will be a truly great show!”

Executive producer Ramone, who has worked with high-profile acts such as Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and Barbra Streisand, is also optimistic about the potential for a future Broadway hit.

For ticket information or more details, call 305-284-8289 or visit the Frost School of Music website,

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