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Spring musical allows audience to determine the ending

April 26, 2017


Paul Bogaev is a multi award-winning music director, arranger, conductor and composer.

He’s worked with an impressive list of performers, including Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Phil Collins and Harry Connick, Jr., to name a few.

This semester, Bogaev has been a guest artist at Stephens College, where he’s taught a master voice class similar to the training sessions he holds with famous singers.

Edwin Drood posterBogaev says whether he’s working with students or stars, his message is the same: Express, don’t impress.

“The singer has to be telling a story,” he said. “A singer can only go so far on a pretty voice. That’s why people don’t make it on American Idol and The Voice. They can’t advance because they don’t know how to tell a story with their voice.”

Bogaev is ending his stint at Stephens as the musical director for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” a musical loosely based on Charles Dickens’ famous unfinished novel that opens Friday, April 28, 2017. Every performance has the potential to end differently because the audience votes for whomever they think murdered the unfortunate young Edwin Drood. 

“It’s a top quality show and has been really fun to work on,” he said.

Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts, said the Stephens Bachelor of Fine Arts training involves an apprentice model that is enhanced with exceptional guest artists like Bogaev.

“As an extraordinary conductor and vocal coach with vast Broadway credits, he has expertise that greatly expands the students’ learning and professional acumen,” she said.

Bogaev received his first Grammy Award for Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida,” for which he produced and conducted the Tony Award-winning score. He was also music director on Broadway for “Tarzan,” “Bombay Dreams” (for which he received a Tony Award nomination for best orchestrations), “Sunset Boulevard, “Aspects of Love,” “Chess,” “Les Miserables,” “Starlight Express, “Cats” and “The Musical of Andrew Lloyd Webber” with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.

Bogaev earned a second Grammy as executive producer of the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film musical “Chicago.” His other film musicals include “Nine,” “Across the University,” “Dreamgirls,” and the animated “Lion King,” “Tarzan,” “Mulan” and “Emperor’s New Groove.”

He also served as music director of the ABC-TV film musicals Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” “South Pacific” and “Annie,” for which he earned an Emmy Award.

As a symphony conductor, Bogaev conducted the music for Francis Ford Coppola’s presentation of the silent film epic “Napoleon” with major orchestras around the world. He also worked with the New York Philharmonic and prepared a series of concerts that he conducted in 2011.


The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Musical, PG-13 for adult themes]

Performances are 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, 2017, May 4-5 and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 30, in the Macklanburg Playhouse, 100 Willis Ave. Contact the Box Office at (573) 876-7199 or for tickets. 

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