John Frost and Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini announced today that they will present a new version of Jekyll and Hyde in late 2015 – and it’ll be directed by Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) and designed by Gabriela Tylesova (Love Never Dies).
Jekyll and Hyde was originally conceived for the stage by Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden, with music by Wildhorn, a book by Leslie Bricusse and lyrics by Wildhorn, Bricusse, and Cuden. Based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the musical follows the classic story of good and evil, and our capacity for both, via the mild doctor whose concoction transforms him into something more beast than man.
The jewel of the show is the song ‘This is the Moment’, which has transcended the musical and become something of a musical theatre standard – it’s been performed at the Olympics, sung by everyone from Susan Boyle to Donny Osmond, and it’s often associated with our own Anthony Warlow.
Jekyll and Hyde opened on Broadway in 1997, where it played 1500 performances and was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical. It was also nominated for six Outer Critics Circle Awards, and won two Drama Desk Awards.
An Australian production was scheduled for 1997, but was cancelled when Arts Capital withdrew its funding.
“I am very excited to finally bring this wonderful musical to Australia for its first professional production,” said John Frost.
“At a recent workshop in New York, this re-imagined version proved to be a powerful and moving experience for everyone present, and I know audiences are going to be enthralled by the classic story and magnificent music.”
The New York workshop earlier this year starred Australian leading men Anthony Warlow as Jekyll/Hyde and David Harris as Utterson and Australian audiences will see the fruits of this creative process on stage.
“After a meeting with John Frost and sparked by his enthusiasm for a reimagined Jekyll and Hyde, we agreed to take another look at our work,” said Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn.
“John introduced us to the international director Christopher Renshaw and also to Lyndon Terracini from Opera Australia, and together we arrived at a new piece.”
Artistic Director of Opera Australia Lyndon Terracini, who has collaborated with John Frost in producing South Pacific, The King and I and Anything Goes is thrilled to be producing another major musical in addition to the opera season.
“Opera Australia has for many years been producing musicals alongside our established opera seasons. It is wonderful that we are able to add Jekyll and Hyde to our schedule next year, in addition to our five opera seasons in Sydney and Melbourne and on tour,” Terracini said.
“I love the epic sweep of this musical and am genuinely excited to share it with our audience. I really enjoy our collaboration with John Frost, and together we are producing musicals with the highest of values in production, stagecraft and performance.
“I can’t wait to audition and cast these thrilling roles. The role of Jekyll/Hyde is a tour de force for a performer.”
Auditions for both the principal and ensemble cast will occur over the next few months, and dates and venues will be announced shortly. It is understood that the production will play into 2016.
A waitlist is available at jekyllandhydemusical.com.au