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Rare Irving Berlin musical and unheard songs to have UK premiere

Irving Berlin Irving Berlin
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A rare Irving Berlin musical is to receive what producers claim is its UK premiere, which will include four songs that were originally cut from the show.

The songs have been discovered by Dominic McHugh, senior lecturer in musicology at the University of Sheffield. McHugh previously discovered unheard numbers from songwriting team Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady that were performed earlier this year.

He is now turning his attention to Miss Liberty, a musical by Berlin that was staged on Broadway in 1949, which tells the fictionalised version of events that led to the Statue of Liberty being mounted on its plinth.

The musical will be performed in the UK on December 9 and 10 at the Frith Hall in Sheffield and will feature the original score, with the original orchestrations.

At the December 10 performance, four songs that were cut before the musical premiered in 1949 will also be heard. They were discovered by McHugh and Matthew Malone, also from the university’s music department.

The Berlin estate has given permission for the additional songs to be heard for one night only.

McHugh said: “Irving Berlin remains one of the most important American songwriters… But many of his 900 songs have been overlooked and are ripe for rediscovery.”

He added that he was “privileged” to be bringing Miss Liberty’s score to the UK for the first time.

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