Sierra Boggess to Lead Studio Cast Album of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
The upcoming release will be the first to include the entire score performed with Robert Russell Bennett's original orchestrations.
Sierra Boggess will star as Laurey in an upcoming studio cast album of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, the first to feature the complete score performed with Robert Russell Bennett's original orchestrations. Conductor Jon Wilson will lead the Sinfonia of London on the release, due September 15 from Chandos, marking the 80th anniversary of the musical's premiere.
Boggess will co-star with Nathaniel Hackmann (Les Misérables) as Curly, Rodney Earl Clarke as Jud, Jamie Parker as Will Parker, Sandra Marvin as Aunt Eller, and Louise Dearman as Ado Annie.
Rounding out the cast will be Nadim Naaman as Ali Hakim, Leo Roberts as Andrew Carnes, Juan Jackson as Ike Skidmore, Will Richardson as Joe, Sejal Keshwala as Gertie Cummings, Emma Kingston as Kate, Kelly Mathieson as Ellen, Rebekah Lowings as Virginia, Charlotte Kennedy as Vivian, Ceili O'Connor as Sylvie, Danny Whitehead as Fred, Michael Colbourne as Cord Elam, and Freddie King as Farmer.
Sondheim biographer David Benedict will provide program notes.
“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! is often cited as the seminal work in the history of the musical—the piece which took us from musical comedy to integrated musical theatre where narrative and characters were developed through song and dance,” says Wilson. “It is astonishing that we have had to wait 80 years for a complete, Overture to Exit Music recording—but here it is: Robert Russell Bennett’s original orchestrations beautifully restored and re-engraved by Bruce Pomahac at the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization to make complete performing editions with every last instrumental detail intact. To my ears, this great masterpiece in its original instrumental clothing sounds as fresh as the day it was written.”
The first collaboration between the Broadway Golden Age powerhouse duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Oklahoma! was adapted from Lynn Riggs' play Green Grow the Lilacs, and was originally choreographed by Agnes de Mille. Set in the then-Oklahoma territory at the turn of the century, the work centers on farm girl Laurey and the two men after her heart, cowboy Curly and brooding farmhand Jud. The original production, which premiered on Broadway in 1943, is largely credited with being the first musical to fully integrate its book, score, and choreography towards advancing the plot. The score introduced such classics as “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin',” “People Will Say We're in Love,” “I Cain't Say No,” and “Many a New Day.”
A favorite at regional theatres and schools worldwide, Oklahoma! was last seen on Broadway in a 2019 revival that re-imagined the work through a modern lens, including new arrangements and orchestrations by Daniel Kluger designed to mimic what one might hear at a real-life turn-of-the-century southern potluck.