Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal

Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal’s individual careers in theatre, film and music have set the highest standard of artistic excellence and innovation.A director of theatre, opera and film, Julie Taymor is the first woman to win the Tony Award for directing a musical (The Lion King), for which she also won Best Costume Design. The Lion King celebrates 13 years on Broadway and has been presented in 13 countries worldwide. Her latest endeavor is Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which is currently playing on Broadway.

Elliot Goldenthal is a renowned composer who creates works for the concert stage, theatre, opera and film, including several Oscar-nominated films and the Oscar-winning score for Taymor’s Frida (which also received a Best Song Oscar nomination). He has composed music for more than a dozen theatrical productions.

Each in their own sphere has produced works of lasting achievement, garnering critical notice and numerous awards. However, from their earliest successes to their most recent work, the projects that they created together have also been celebrated.

In 1986, Theatre for a New Audience’s Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz invited Ms. Taymor to direct her first Shakespeare play. That production, The Tempest, would later inform her film adaptation of the play, which stars Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou and Ben Whishaw and was released in 2010 with a score by Mr. Goldenthal. Their other stage work for Theatre for a New Audience includes Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Home Street Home and The Green Bird. In 1999, Taymor made her feature film directorial debut with Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. In 1988, Mr. Goldenthal composed the music and with Ms. Taymor co-authored the libretto for Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, which received five Tony nominations when it was restaged at Lincoln Center in 1996. Originally produced by Music Theater Group in 1988, Juan Darién was directed and designed by Taymor, and co-written with Goldenthal, received two Obies and numerous other awards and toured internationally. Together, she has directed and he has scored the films The Tempest, Titus, Across the Universe and Frida, as well as Goldenthal’s original two act opera, Grendel, which premiered at the Los Angeles Opera and was named one of the two finalists for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in music.

Ms. Taymor has also directed opera productions of The Magic Flute (now in repertory at the Met), Oedipus Rex, Salomé and The Flying Dutchman. An abridged English version of the Met’s production of The Magic Flute inaugurated the PBS series, “Great Performances at the Met,” and was relayed live, in high-definition, to movie theaters around the world in 2006. Her film of Oedipus Rex premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, won the Jury Award at the Montreal Festival of Films on Art, was broadcast internationally and garnered an Emmy Award and the 1994 International Classical Music Award for best opera production.

While on a Watson Fellowship in Indonesia from 1975-79, Taymor developed a mask/dance company, Teatr Loh, consisting of Javanese, Balinese, Sudanese, French, German and American actors, musicians, dancers and puppeteers. The company toured throughout Indonesia with two original productions, Way of Snow and Tirai (subsequently performed in the USA). In 1991 Taymor received a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the first Annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater, and the 1990 Brandeis Creative Arts Award.

Goldenthal’s large-scale symphonic piece, Fire Water Paper, a commemorative tribute created for the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam War, commissioned by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, was released in April of 1996 on Sony Classical Records featuring soloist Yo Yo Ma. It debuted at the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and was later performed in critically acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall and at The Kennedy Center, with Seiji Ozawa conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1995 Goldenthal was commissioned by the American Ballet Theater to create a new 3-act ballet of Othello, which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in May of 1997. Othello was co-produced by the ABT in partnership with the San Francisco Ballet and was choreographed by the world-renowned Lar Lubovitch. In June of 2003, Great Performances broadcast Othello with the San Francisco Ballet and Goldenthal’s original score was nominated for an Emmy.

Among Goldenthal’s many film scores are Heat, Titus, Batman Forever, A Time to Kill, Drugstore Cowboy, Alien 3 and the Neil Jordan films Interview with the Vampire and Michael Collins, receiving Oscar nominations for both. Additionally, he has been nominated for two Golden Globes, three Grammys, two Tony Awards, and three Chicago Film Critics Awards. He received the L.A. Film Critics Award for Best Original Score for his work on The Butcher Boy in 1998.

Ms. Taymor and Mr. Goldenthal have been deeply connected to Theatre for a New Audience for many years, and together currently serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Theatre’s Capital Campaign.

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Pictured above: Polonsky Shakespeare Center, photo ©David Sundberg/Esto.