Scenes from “CHILDREN OF DREAMS”
by Sigmund Romberg & Oscar Hammerstein II
Children of Dreams was a 1931 film by the famous American operetta composer Sigmund Romberg and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The film has since been lost, and this is the first reconstruction of the work since. Using archival materials from Harvard and Princeton, this project reconstructs Children of Dreams to look at how rural communities have been constructed in the American music theater tradition. This lecture-recital will present a historical account of pastoral tendencies and the perpetuation of a rural mythology in the American music theater tradition, interspersed with emblematic scenes from this 1931 lost film operetta.
The operetta concerns Molly Standing, a young woman who works as an itinerant farm laborer on a Californian apple orchard, and her rise to stardom as the premier American opera singer (read: prima donna). Overly romantic and melodramatic, Children of Dreams focuses on the love story between Molly and Tommy Melville, another farm laborer. While their love is torn apart with Molly’s rise to fame, true love wins out in the end.
Presented in conjunction with Jared Michaud’s Senior Thesis in Theater Studies.
Performance Dates & Times
March 31, 2019 - 4:00pm
Sudler Recital Hall