Celebrating the Debut of ‘Fiddler’ in Concert!
Thank you for joining the world premiere performances of Fiddler on the Roof in Concert, featuring Broadway professionals, U-M musical theatre students, and the Grand Rapids Symphony. From reimagining John Williams’s Academy Award-winning orchestrations to rehearsing safely in person under strict protocols, this project was a massive undertaking with months of preparation and planning.
Relive highlights from the production below, before the cast heads east for performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra March 3-6.
A Creative Vision
Leadership from UMS and The Philadelphia Orchestra worked alongside the U-M Department of Musical Threatre in a collaborative vision for this project, led by Broadway music director Andy Einhorn. Hear more from the creative team about the revival of a musical “that speaks to everybody.”
John Williams won his first Academy Award for the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof (Best Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score). And UMS’s performances marked the first-ever live performances of his lush orchestrations, which were painstakingly recreated after being destroyed after the film was completed. Hear Williams share why a reimagining of Fiddler means so much to him and to many others. (Interview courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra)
A Behind-the-Scenes Look
Costume designer Beth Goldenberg brought Tevye, Golde, and the entire cast of Fiddler on the Roof singers and dancers to life.
A select group of U-M musical theatre students had the opportunity to work with a professional creative team and Broadway performers. In addition to countless hours spent in rehearsals, these students learned about Fiddler’s cultural and historical context with the help of several guests, including U-M professors, rabbis, and other educators. Musical theatre senior Ella Olesen (Tzeitel) offers her perspective on the experience, and what it contributed to her performance.
Contextual Events on Campus
In conjunction with UMS’s performances, audiences were invited to engage with the broader themes of the musical through free contextual events across the U-M community. These included a collection of Polish poster art spanning four decades (on display through Mar 18), and virtual discussions about the historical and geopolitical context of Fiddler and parallels to current refugee crises in Eastern Europe.
UMS was proud to partner with the Copernicus Center for Polish Studies, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, and the U-M Center for European Studies on these events.
Detroit Public Television’s “One Detroit” program gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the production week of Fiddler on the Roof in Concert! Watch as Broadway professionals rehearse alongside students from the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department. (7 minute segment)
Dinner and a Musical
UMS hosted a prelude dinner before Saturday night’s performance at All Seasons Ann Arbor. The evening included a special presentation from Michael McElroy, Chair of the U-M Department of Musical Theatre, and Catherine Walker, U-M associate professor of Musical Theatre.
An Unforgettable Debut
Fiddler on the Roof in Concert premiered in Hill Auditorium with two performances on February 19-20. As the largest-scale production UMS has presented since the pandemic began, we thank you again for sharing this milestone moment and creating memories with us. Fiddler, after all, is a story about passion, courage, perseverance, and the resilience of humanity…
We are so grateful to everyone who made this special event possible, especially our event sponsors:
Menakka and Essel Bailey
Ken and Noreen Buckfire
Patti Askwith Kenner
The Lester Family
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
University of Michigan Arts Initiative
Elaine and Peter Schweitzer
Don & Judy Rumelhart (exclusive supporters of music director Andy Einhorn)
Herbert S. and Carol L. Amster Endowment Fund
Tim and Sally Petersen
Prudence and Amnon Rosenthal Endowment Fund
Oscar Feldman Endowment
Ilene H. Forsyth Theater Endowment Fund
UMS Sustaining Directors
WRCJ 90.9 FM
WGTE 91.3 FM
Michigan Radio 91.7 FM
Ann Arbor’s 107one