Gene Kelly: A Life in Music combines the music of a live symphony orchestra with clips from some of Gene Kelly’s most iconic films, including Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris, Brigadoon, Summer Stock, Les Girls, It’s Always Fair Weather, his joyful dance with Jerry the Mouse in Anchors Aweigh, plus rarely- seen footage from television specials and rare broadcasts. Written and hosted by Kelly’s wife and biographer, Patricia Ward Kelly, this show offers a unique look into Gene Kelly’s own insights and behind-the-scenes stories about the making of these memorable works.
While most people think of dance when they think of Kelly, music—and, particularly, American popular song—is central to his work. It influenced him; inspired him; and, in many ways, defined him. He worked closely with composers, arrangers and musicians and held them in the highest regard, knowing it was they who made his art possible.
The number of people with firsthand knowledge of the making of the famous M-G-M musicals is rapidly diminishing. As creator and host, Patricia Kelly brings an intimate perspective to the show, not only through her husband’s engaging personal stories but with priceless memorabilia, including rare film scores, letters and handwritten notes.
Since the original arrangements were destroyed in 1969, world-renowned composer/conductor John Wilson meticulously re-created the orchestrations. As with other symphonic/cinema shows, the music has been carefully “scrubbed” from the film clips, but in this case, Kelly’s singing, dialogue, and taps are left brilliantly intact, giving audiences the sense of a vivid live event. The symphony plays, Patricia Ward Kelly speaks, and Gene Kelly sings and dances—a really exceptional concert experience.
Gene Kelly: A Life in Music premiered with The Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Neil Thomson in April 2018 with sold-out performances at Usher Hall in Edinburgh and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
July 26: National Concert Hall, with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin
February 9: Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Kingston ON
February 10: Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Kingston ON
Patricia Ward Kelly’s project Gene Kelly A Life in Music is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.
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