John Mauceri on the Regina Restoration

The impetus for this new performing edition of Regina came from Leonard Bernstein. It was some 18 years ago, when in the months following his wife's death, Lenny and I began discussing projects. "I swore an oath on Marc's grave," he said to me, "that I would fix Regina." "Well, why don't we do it together?" I said. In those days Tommy Krasker was my student at Yale and we met with Lenny a number of times to discuss the necessary restorations. These were difficult times for him, not helped by conversations with Lillian Hellman, who did not feel comfortable with music theatre. (She had been generally blamed for the failure of the original Broadway version of Candide. Her entire book had been replaced for the 1973 production as well as all subsequent versions.)

Our work with Lenny, which spanned one-and-a-half years, remained in a drawer behind his desk, as well as in Tommy's house, and my New York office. Seven years ago we started work again. Four days before his death, I sat with Lenny and told him that Regina had been finished. "What?" he said in a shocked voice that expressed both happiness, as well as the sadness of knowing the project had gone on without him and that he would never hear the fruits of his own work.