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VOCAL SELECTIONS Bea UAT NA Music and Lyric ee ee Maury Yeston eter nea enn Ry ee Eu Cuca a ead eee ese Deemer ae ete a ta Sy eed I or Tee ea eee treated ropa) Se eee ete eras ee areca ose eee a aaa aserae ‘THE POET LAUREATE OF LONGING by Patrick Pacheco Death had me at hello, Nota “ello” exact This incarnate manifestation ofthat whic all fhumans fear actually seduced me within the is ew bars ofthe twin songs “Centuries” and “Why Do All Men?” his haunting and lyrical introduction in the new musical Death Takes a Holiday. And why ‘of? Afer all if anyone can make the Grim Reaper sing, iis Maury Yeston. And not just sing but yearn to know life and foe tse “To breath a sigh IFT could learn what words lke hope and love and Kindness truly are macle of 1ET could Tear what it maybe to ery ‘That would be a esson worthy (f this one-time-only journey Teach Death....o cry? To learn pity and, inten, tobe pitied? What ‘an extraordinary mandate. And yet what a natura progression for ‘composer who fas never flinched from daunting challenges, ‘whether ite discovering the beating heart within a disfigured freak (Phantom), mining te psychological complexities of a prapic anistc genius (Nine), juggling the romantic follies ofa disparate group of adventurers (Grand Hotel) or celebrating the exalted dreams aboard 2 doomed acean liner (Titanic). Thus, after Tianfc in 1997, Yeston and the libretist Pete Stone were irresistibly dravn to re-collaborate on a musical adaptation of Alberto Casll’s 1924 play La Morte in Vacanze, which a decade later was made into the classic film Death Takes a Holiday. alter the brutal and senseless carnage of Word War I, Casella’ fanciful conceit was that Death sorely needed a vacation, No foo, he assumes the royal personage of a handsome Russian prince and insinuates himself fora weekend into the villa of a wealthy lian duke, Vitorio Lamberti. But what makes this vintage Yeston territory is the reason wy Death stays his hand and decides to become human: ‘Eons I've performed my dies Te encountered greater beauties What restrains me now, I wonder Feeling her heart rice? Stops my instinet Toenfold her, Inthe Great War Not one solider Fel to me with quite the pow'r Of life within this face. The intense longing expressed inthe music is sufficient unto the cause—even a the minor chord on “face” ills us wit a foreboding —because it isa woman who inspires Death to lay down his burden. The glimpse of Grazia, the lovely and graced daughter ofthe Duke, is enough to stop Death in his tracks and to inspire the melancholy and yearning that is woven, like a golden thread, through all of Yeston’s work, Diverse though its, his music reaches is most profound height in what bas long been the central preoccupation ofthe Broauway musical: "To connect, only connect,” as the writer E.M. Forster succinetly pu it, And Det Takes a Holiday adds ‘compelling and innovative chapter to Yeston’s lifelong romantic obsession. For one, Grazia, though already engaged to another, is primed for tis sudden and transformative encounter with the inysterous stranger For another, Death, as Prince Siri, is charming, sophisticated, sexy, and. ..nave. As naive in fact, asa newborn babe. Which, ofcourse, hei. Here is where Yesion and his collaborators have fun, in their pica fashion, turning the boy-mees-gie convention on its head, On his first morning, can Prince Sith ever get enough of everthing he kays ees on, including the fred eggs brought in bythe butler, the fresh towels brought in by te saucy maid, or the fragrances wafting through the windows out of which siretches the gorgeous Tian countryside? “Nota moment more to waste {can breathlessly egin to taste Every sight and sound and smell That may soon arrive Stating with the sunlight streaming And warming up my skin, and beaming Within me this new glow (f coming alive!” ln this, Sir vesernbles no one in dramatie terature more than Eni in Our Town, brought back lif for one day by the Stage Manager. “I can't stare a things hard enough,” she sa, exultng in the quotidian beauty of life. It takes a poet as sensitive as Yeston to capture that in “life's Joy,” a song sung by the Lambert household (on that frst bright morning. Bu the sakes are driven even higher with the first teringsof the heart which, ina wry rolerevers, belong here to the man, no te woman. Forget the eggs. What really ‘captures the virgnal Sik’ attention isthe come-hither sare of the maid, de shimmy taught to him by the seyy unerican widow saying at the vill, and the overpowering sensation and all-emveloping glow of first love ‘The passionate romance between Prince Sirki and Gracia atthe center of Death Takes a Holiday recalls a puver time i the American ‘musical theater, a legacy of romance treated whinowt cynicism and without apology that can be traced from The Student Prince o Show Boat 1 West Ste Story to Death Takes a Hottday. tn the song “Alone Here with Yoo,” which ends the fist act, a par of lovers, bathed in ‘moonlight, sing ther hearts out to eachother. What could be more classi than that, and yet the montent is Er from dated, Infact, ings true, fresh and contemporary, made all the more so by ts rarity ina theatrical landscape increasingly dominated by self-referential irony, satire, and lavish spectacle ‘What lends the musical a special poignancy isthe lucky wit which it demonstrates just how fast—and eruell;—loe, friendship, and fanly can disappear. The long and mournful shadow of World War stil hung over mankind when Casella frst committed these characters o the page. Tht shadow suffuses two ofthe most riveting songs in the hors, wich detail the brit life and tragie death of Robert, the Lamberts son, inthe Great War In Roberto’ Eyes, Major Eric Fenton recalls, vividly and graphically the dogfight hat leads to the fiery demise of his tying partner. fn the elegy “Losing Roberto,” the Duchess Lambert keeps trot wither absent son. How he loved winter! Htking he'd go Leaving his fotprins Deep in the snow They melt but they're here with the res Ther melt, but not here in my brews. And tis in witnessing ths simple example of maternal sorrow that Death, astonishingly, is moved to pity. “Tam sorry for your loss," he says tothe Duchess. In 1997, when Yeston and Sone began work on Death Takes a Holiday, they could hardly ave imagined thatthe show would finaly emerge into the ight of day atime as humid with mortality as that of ts source material. America would be mired in two wars—in rag and Afghanistan, fntractable conflicts would be staining the earth with blood. The premiere ofthe musical would come ust alter the 30th anniversary ofthe first reported cases of ADS, the slat of an ‘epidemic that would plunge the world in grief, and just before the Oth anniversary ofthe worst terrorist attack in history, which would claim the ives of 3,000 innocents. Even closer to home would be the death of Stone himself, in 2003, not to mention other friends and family members ofthe creative team. Death, it would seem, is in need. of another vacation, Uni that wwelth of never, what the world does have is art. Art that sy, ait does in this musical, that “inthe middle of your life anything can happen.” Art that says that love is the greatest journey that heaven can allow, And art dat says that while the pain of loss is ineffable and unending the beauty of music can give voice that ‘pain and even redeem it As Death himself sings This remarkable grandeur ‘That ils you with wonderment Love deaw you in ‘With its ight. Au least got ive beneath he sun To know of powers Fve not understood To learn how precious life may be And understand the pain of ever leaving To eam itis reserir of ght And fee! love that rots me otis place | ‘Whoever could have dreamed it would be fe de most grateful for receiving And then itis our eur to pity Death, to pty him for having been deprived from what we humans all oo offen take for granted. Death Takes a Holiday witily and profoundly reminds us of this “precious” sift through Yeston’s prodigious talent and the undiminished faith that, infuses his every note and Itc. LUA TAA ed CENTURIES ve Tg SU DUAN UIA PAN AER OUT EN NERO Oy SDAA DY SAT e PN WHAT DO YOU DO Ey VARA PUNT SEM CALIDA Rey PAVANE BATHING MUSIC oe How Will | Know? Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston 102 Bb tous abr Gracia: Io the amide oF your ile y= thing. ean mid-dle ef the road that you're trav = "ting up = on, Copyright © 2008 Yeston Musi te (2M) Wiortewide Rights for Yoston Musi Ls. Acminstoredby BMG Chrysais 6 Tntematonal Copyright Secured Al Fights Raservae BbadasjF Jn the middle of that rmaysbe an = thing did Crier Frost cn & : fF Pa. Fraust cat Frswt cnt bright and strange. cada dasa op c Anus! Am + fined for some-where far be - yond what_my eyes the bend? molto rit abreast abaya worl's more Daas Abie or mous than (hings 1 bm About abT rent! Some = how a Daas ob roamed it couldev = @beda9/B abc ‘ought were im = pos = si = ble boas pos hat Abosuss AbT Bbmsus! the Bbm y r tet ry breath cma how could my oth * ont an Abysuss Ab7 hada a cfm Now {know Sato rt, | arene a trust Ghaaavye ——abjc Tomust make ev yet fart to be Baja, Dbyab Abrus? aby vd aa aa Bbmjab Eb/G. Dhaddo FIC bm fi 3 won't rest un = il that’s 39, a a = Dhyab ab “abe 7 weg Centuries Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston Am ya am GAA YA Am oa F Death: Cen Yeu, Copyright© 2008 Yeston Music La. (ta) Worldwide Rigi er Yeston Wuse Li. Administered by @MG Cheyala Intaaticsl Copyright Seouted All Aights Reserved 13 Dm op “4 E+ ons Tye per - fomed my av Fam ~ ines, eanh- quakes, how they cost quite the Vie, just Very slowly Em? ar fs mola it Why Do All Men? Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston Death: Vit ~ to-ri- 0 Lam to-fi- Lam- Copyright © 2008 Yeston Muse Li. (BM), Worlowi Rights or Yeston Must Lig. Acminstereg by ANG Chrysalis 16 Inteational Copyright Secured All Fights Reserved Br Gn ae nyt ANF don't run a - way fom ome Tve come 10 ask ple fi a child ona ing, or touch anew your fia 1 fave mot come to take you. = think you yo years F . nope pe | Hear me ou, Teg you com = py, Though Tm ex | How 1 have been tan = ta = tized 10 ty! ‘What could that | ee Ae a WL could | z= you think Pd be, Pim here from c= oh be? ve not “aclu, tbe in side the world of WL cont Jean what words tke “hope” and “love” and “kind = ness” tru ly are made of FC, @ Tove sag i FIC, alt Nor ‘That could would 1 what learn wish you be oa" what ike nay know is mag ~ ine les = sn ture breathe be What is all the wor = thy Ay, sigh 2} omar, iter things of IL that this AP sake 1 Gm could ‘sk the yy AE speak ‘ques jour ToCola cs rey, fe Poco agitato Fad? taut at men fear We so dear - y?— ‘Re, * Pd & sim Dm Bhp fear they'd 1 must know their rea live their change from af avenpo coast Gna Sun ~ day night, that’s my on = ty goal. — DS. Coda BIC AC BIC AC. Gwe FC cr, PL not harm a poco a stowty = 40 one NF on MR Oma AF GAY ass a Ty re-tum, 1 can assure yous while Pm ‘here, no one on earth will die! Death Is in the House Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston Bb DA AN yo OD eb Daya A Dm GnyD Gm6/D Dm BP Day DwA A Dm Gay Gm Dm - Fidel: Death is inthe house, CCopysght © 2008 Yeston Must Li. (BM) Wirkdwide gh for Yeston Musie La. Aamirisieras by BMG Chrysalis 2 Tntetatonal Copyright Secured All Fights Reservee He ie in the house. bring-ing on this fear I « He is in the house, wheth-er he's a 24 Daya Dmitva am Foil Amq/D___ Amv inthe house: or secure DwA DmyA Am Fad? AMT _AnvE may en= dure Death isin the hovse, Dm GmyD —GmD Dm Bb DmyG___ FA oa wearing his dark robe wen he poinss to Who would be: lieve what we saw with our eyes? We could nev er Am DnyA PTA Am F AwD Ane E o Fidete: Death is up the sir, ing his room through the door Vitor Chills an wp my spine, nowsing that he just tioned my Dm mt c F tb Dav Dawa A Fidele: Death House! Vitoria Death! Death is inthe house, whether he's aman fe ap mare, ? 26 Do Gayo cp. Death is in Pidele: Wak ~ ing Vitrios Wok — ing Dm and he picked to ight Am Daya Dmg Am F AnD Am/B 87 Dai Ga? Co OF Vinorio: No way we run! Whats to be done? Slowly A tempo Ds Fidele: Death is inthis house Slowly A tempo Virorio: Death is in Music and Lyries by Maury Yeston Briskly, with excitement © = 118 DryG yg © 2008 Yaston Music Lis (BM, wocne ri ih Weson Mug Ld Aarwatres by BMG Cnysais rational Copygh Secured. Al Fights Racers 29 WK excitedly « Sc os! Maye Ce cet ce aye Look how eas i = ly F touch it an real = ty don't af = fect ich, can Not a tmo-ment more to waste, 1 can breathless = ly be = gin. f@tinte ew = iy What ex = act - ly hap-pened there in that =m = = al a) Tro zen stare? Could tat as Ss Sp ome f lear ~ ly be ob served that sil 8 lve! Sight ad sound and smell that soon a rive. im sum of at ~ tae ~ tion and sur = vive SF Feel the heat with - in me beat - ing. That break fist will soon be eat ing means Start - ing with the sum ight seaming and warming up my skin and Beam = ing with = There's so much Fo need «team, To have hand = ty sat - ech yet’ foun with a fe uh, mp at © Cast os ae omc Tamas 1 keep re - peateing, a - tive! in me this new glow of | com-ing a ~ live! pas-sion-sle and un~mis - tk-a~ ble drive! Dm? a c Daye © Dat CHE 32 F How Fil Could Fay. could y the sus? Fal have Ve know and Gist oe what ‘at sianed Teele would coal eG Dmyo Ema "6 rit poco pore —— r r r Look! A fer = ry bows gone sre thrown as speed «ing train's de © Const os oye © Coast cs (Shontey as 5 : bless - ed ‘hen 35 ne Frat ire yo DSal Code 6 Bhs? Gaul = aif II Il fol = low = ing the role | | sid ta ay, hol Life’s a Joy Music and Lyries by ‘Maury Yeston Sprightly 4 = 106 Dario: Life's mate for Ba a 5 Copyright© 2008 Yeston Muse Lis. (BM) Workcwide Rights for Yoston Music Ls. Acmnsieredby BMG Chrysalis Intemational Copyright Secured All Fights Resorvee 38 in = ay -mo-mens Gracia: ov = Born: fra grant flow ers Fa Fs prt Dr ve Inthe grand scheme of_—things, what's Gracia: Tarughihe groves of the pines) “how wings but ami ~ nor Til it Shines, east ing light beams Sinks ill each DF cre cee nit Se 2 — T ginms tage dlaswonds eee eae fo aul Sst occa Toco lle An = cent palm tees snow = capped moun = tains, Am? cD mG EMG FGI Br view they make! Half the group: Life's a Past = ing Life is ap ples Se The other half: A - tong. the 7 stoll- ng, 42 abr bmg? Dril-Want colors inset dis = ar ry, Fold ing, pyre — Fay? or and you tare all ie slow = Iy a= way, vwou-bles slip the world pass you your lite FB Gracias Life's ‘Somewhat freely Bos Bbmai? bs Sinks Lites a joy! 7 to 7 PFT ing pant Grazia: Gold -en dl sunlight creeps Hor wp on DS. Coda bs Gis Bh Holf he group: Life's a be bg | joy! —___ Puss - ing by. Life is apples and All bi-Hiant ool sweet dis tun = fold ing A bit slower Dario: Bv-1y Slowly, freely Foi? Fs pyre Der Daria: AS you're g82-ing faint sky ber ‘eee Mis think = ing there we 90) words 0 Dario: tha will capture a > cre cre Da? “ry wisp of etch cloud, Al: n mp a a Who Is This Man? Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston ‘With confused bemusement Freely += 96 abr, Gracia: Who is this man? What bada9/ EbG a BhTssd bade = s-whelms my soul: how can - Fr Fr 2a. 2 Lin ‘Pe. ® Pea, * ab basa cot Fao np_ ma " and with-in his. stare, ter nal Copyright © 2008 Yeston Music Lid (2M) Worldwide igh or Yoston Musi Lid. Adminsiored by @MG Chryealie 48 Intemational Gopyngm Secured. Al Pgh lesonved