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Studio Recording with members of the Original Broadway Cast!
Starring Georgia Brown and Paul Sorvino.
14 Tracks total.
Including the Georgia Brown classic, “Someone in April” (NO ONE DID IT LIKE GEORGIA BROWN!) and the heart-breaking trio for the American Soldiers “One More Walk Around The Garden”! – a musical theatre standard.
Josie De Guzman…Gia
1. Overture (Orchestra)
2. Prayer/It’s Time for A Love Song (Carmelina, Vittorio, Chorus)
3. Why Him? (Carmelina)
4. I Must Have Her (Vittorio)
5. Someone In April (Carmelina, Rosa)
6. Signora Campbell (Rosa, Carmelina, Chorus)
7. Love Before Breakfast (Carmelina, Vittorio)
8. Yankee Doodles Are Coming To Town (Chorus)
9. One More Walk Around The Garden (Braddock, Karzonski, Smith)
10. All That He Wants Me To Be (Gia)
11. Carmelina (Vittorio)
12. The Image of Me (Smith, Braddock, Karzinski)
13. I’m A Woman (Carmelina)
14. Finale (Carmelina, Vittorio)
CARMELINA is a musical with a book by Joseph Stein and Alan Jay Lerner, lyrics by Lerner, and music by Burton Lane. Famous for several Musical Theatre franchises such as Lerner’s MY FAIR LADY, CAMELOT, GIGI, PAINT YOUR WAGON, BRIGADOON and Lerner & Burton Lane’s ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER; CARMELINA was to be Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane’s final collaboration. CARMELINA features the great Georgia Brown (Nancy in the Original London and Broadway Casts of OLIVER!) in the titular role and her rendition of “Someone In April” remains one of the great musical theatre scenes! A high-point in the genre!
Based on the 1968 film “Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell” (which also inspired the book for MAMMA MIA!) CARMELINA focuses on an Italian woman who has raised her teenaged daughter Gia to believe her father was an American who died heroically in World War II. Supposedly she spurns the constant advances of local café owner Vittorio because her heart still belongs to the man she tragically lost. In reality, she had affairs with three different GIs and has no idea who fathered the girl. Trouble ensues when the three veterans decide to reunite in Carmelina’s small hometown in Italy.
After eleven previews, the Broadway production, directed by José Ferrer and choreographed by Peter Gennaro, opened on April 8, 1979 at the St. James Theatre in New York City, where it ran for seventeen performances. The cast included Georgia Brown, Cesare Siepi, Grace Keagy, John Michael King, and Josie de Guzman.
A nomination for Best Original Score was its sole recognition from the Tony Awards committee that year.
This cast recording was originally released in 1980 on Bruce Yeko’s Original Cast Records label, which specializes in preserving musicals that might not otherwise be recorded. Produced by Bruce Yeko, the LP was made with the participation of original Broadway cast members Georgia Brown, Josie de Guzman, Grace Keagy, Gordon Ramsey and Howard Ross. Leading man Cesare Siepi declined to participate in the project, so his role on the recording is filled by Paul Sorvino – who is also featured on Original Cast Records’ THE BAKER’S WIFE.
From The CD Liner Notes:
CARMELINA follows in the tradition of the great romantic musicals. It tells a charming and intriguing love story, and tells it with soaring melodies and delightful comedic scenes. With a score by Burton Lane, and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and a book by Mr. Lerner and Joseph Stein, CARMLEINA was created by some of the most prestigious names in the American Musical Theatre.
The story takes place in the small Italian village of San Forino, about eighteen years after the end of World War II. Carmelina, the central character, is an attractive, highly respected lady, the mother of a lovely 17 year old daughter, Gia. The villagers know her as the widow of an American soldier, who had heroically died in battle, and whose family continues to support her and her daughter. But Carmelina harbors a painful secret.
Vittorio, the local café owner, has for years been deeply in love with Carmelina, but she refuses to return his affection, insisting that she will always remain true to the memory of her martyred husband.
As the ACT I curtain flies, Carmelina is in a church, praying for the soul of her husband while Vittorio looks on, expressing his frustrated passion for her (PRAYER/IT’S TIME FOR A LOVE SONG.) Although she coolly spurns his ardent approach, she shows her true feelings when she is alone; she is really in love with him but cannot admit it (WHY HIM?) And Vittorio expresses his determination to overcome all obstacles to his love (I MUST HAVE HER!)
The villagers now learn that the American battalion which had liberated the village is returning for a reunion and they are wildly enthusiastic. Not so, Carmelina; she is horrified at the news. We learn why when she confesses to her devoted maid, Rosa, that during the war she had been romantically involved with three different GI’s, one of whom is the father of her daughter (SOMEONE IN APRIL.) Now that they are about to return, she will be revealed and she will be disgraced.
Rosa tries to calm her, reassuring her that she will still be the respected lady she has always been (SIGNORA CAMPBELL.)
That night, Vittorio serenades her (LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST) and Carmelina finally confesses her love for him. She assures him that in a few days (when the Americans have come and gone) they can finally be together. He is ecstatic.
The people of the village are joyous about the American visitors coming to spend the Yankee dollar (YANKEE DOODLES ARE COMING TO TOWN.) Among the returning soldiers are Messrs. Braddock, Karzinski and Smith, Carmelina’s three ex-paramours. When she meets them she confesses that one of them in the father of her child, Gia, and of course, each of them believes she is referring to him. Her beauty rekindles their old passion and they each soliloquize…(ONE MORE WALK AROUND THE GARDEN.)
That night there is a reunion party, and Gia is looking forward to meeting the friends of her “dead father”…(ALL THAT HE WANTS ME TO BE.)
Late that night, after the party, each of the three Americans come to visit his ex-lover, and in an hilarious scene (which closes the first act,) they discover each other, and the truth of Carmelina’s past involvement with all three of them emerges. But, as the curtain falls, Gia overhears them and is heartbroken to realize that her mother had been living a lie, and that she does not even know who her father is.
ACT II opens with Vittorio, alone on stage, confused and outraged. Carmelina had pledged her love but is now as secretive and distant as ever. He expresses his feelings in the song – CARMELINA. The three Americans, however, although infuriated with Carmelina at her deception, are taken with the charming daughter. Each of them is convinced she is his child…(THE IMAGE OF ME.)
Gia is so upset that she decides to spite her mother by eloping with a local fisherman, whom she does not love, of course. But the Americans and Vittorio learn of her plan and arrive at the church in the nick of time to prevent the marriage.
Carmelina, aware only that her daughter has run off and her own life is shattered, decides that she is no longer going to live for others – she is going to be a free woman (I’M A WOMAN.) The Americans and Vittorio now realize that Carmelina’s motive for her long-time deception was to give her daughter a decent home and a good life, and that in the process she had sacrificed her own happiness. So, as the play ends, Carmelina and Vittorio can now face life together, openly and honestly…(FINALE.)