Friday, March 17, 2006
Exclusive Blog Interview: Susanna Moross Tarjan, Part III
First I asked if Susanna had an opinion about why The Golden Apple became "lost" in the first place:
It's a difficult show. Musically, it’s difficult. It's completely sung-thru. And it generally calls for large cast, although it is done with smaller cast. People are afraid of it and the demands of the piece. Also, John LaTouche and Jerome Moross are not household names. So when you’re talking about raising a huge sum of money for a major revival, that definitely makes it more difficult. There is a cast album. (See Part II where Tarjan talks about how the soundtrack album had to be abridged.) Several years ago the album was transferred to CD...they did great job! RCA BMG Classics recording. Catalog # is 09026-68934. (Here it is on Amazon.)
I also asked if Susanna appreciated staged concert versions, or was disappointed by them:
The Lyric Theatre in Chicago did a fully-staged full orchestra production in 1995. It had some flaws, but it was wonderful to hear the whole piece. Since then it has been done in concert several times. The 1991 Lost musical series in England did it.(I didn’t know about it until afterwards and couldn’t go.) It was done last summer at upstate NY with full orchestra, but concert version.
I would love to see a fully stage production, and if I wins the lottery I’ll stage it in New York!
But I am thrilled with concert version because people get to hear it. Not only do I love the music but the lyrics are absolutely brilliant. My father thought that John La Touche was one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. A brilliant witty man.
Other productions are in the offing. I feel hopeful that the time for the show has come.
Finally, it's not just about The Golden Apple. Susanna works to keep all of her father's music in the public ear. She filled me in on her activities:
I manage and promote my father’s music. I'm an only child, so I knew it would fall to me to handle everything. My father was never good about promoting himself. He was a shy man. And had no sense of P.R. I’m not a great P.R. person, but I’ve certainly been determined to get the music out there.
The thing that made that possible for me was the CD revolution in the late 80s. I realized the thing for me to do was get recordings made and forget about sending scores to conductors with old tapes. Managed to produce 5 recordings. 2 concert music CDs 2 film music compilation CD, and her favorite...Windflowers, the songs of Jerome Moross on PS Classics label. I'm particularly proud of Windflowers because for many years I had all the songs from shows other than The Golden Apple, but didn’t know how I was going to get them out into the world. Many had never been heard, many heard just very briefly. And the opportunity came when working with Tommy Krasker...we arranged for an evening at Joe’s Pub in NY. Then we recorded that evening. That is the show that became the Windflowers CD...the same song structure and cast. My dream is to do one more of those CDs with another batch of songs that I would love to be able to be heard.
Note: you can purchase all of these CDs from Susanna's site about her father.
If you've enejoyed this 3-part interview with Susanna don't forget she's going to be at the show on Sunday March 26th and will participate in the post-show discussion with the audience. Also, she can be reached via email. She loves to hear what people think about her father's music, and of course welcomes opportunities to get it heard.