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BIOGRAPHY OF OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II - Research Paper Example

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BIOGRAPHY OF OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

He started his piano lessons when he was nine years old. The death of his mother, however, when he was only fifteen ruined his happy childhood (Notablebiographies.com, 3). During his formative years, Oscar was greatly involved in theatrical activities. Nevertheless, when he was choosing a career his father kept him back from theater. He sent him to Columbia University to study law. However, his father died in the year 1914 leaving him reliant on family members who were more theatrically inclined (Notablebiographies.com, 3). While at Columbia University, Oscar essentially started his career in theater. At the age of 19, he became a member of the Columbia University Players and took part in ‘On Your Way,’ the 1915 Varsity review. For several years, he was a close follower of the student shows and he participated both as a performer and a writer (Pbs.org, 2&3). After finishing his first year in law school, Oscar was able to convince his uncle to take him in on one of his shows at the capacity of an assistant stage manager. By the year 1919, his uncle made him the production stage manager for all his shows. In this capacity, Oscar managed to do write and re-write on development scripts. In the long run, he began writing musical comedies of his own (Pbs.org, 3). In the year 1917, Oscar married Mary Flynn, who begot him two children namely Alice and William, who later became a theater producer-director. In the year 1929, Oscar divorced Flynn and married Dorothy Blanchard Jacobson and they got a son called James Hammerstein who became a director of theater (Hischak, 81). Soon after marrying Flynn, Oscar wrote ‘The Light’, his first play. His production started in 1919 but it was stopped after only lasted four performances. He stepped back and evaluated what went wrong with the play, and went on writing librettos, lyrics, and plays to then move into the spotlight slowly (Lombardi, 3). Rapidly, Oscar became a renowned author and a librettist, generally in the operetta style in the beginning. The first of his greatest achievements was in the year 1922 with ‘Wildflower.’ This was a result of collaboration with Otto Harbach, older than Oscar by twenty years, and other co-writers namely Vincent Youmans and Herberrt Stothart. After that came ‘Rose Marie’ in the year 1924, which he did in collaboration with Otto Harbach and with music by Rudolph Friml along with Herbert P. Stothart. This led to a more key success and led to Oscar’s partnership with a composer by the name Jerome Kern. In the year 1925, together with Harbach, Oscar worked on ‘Sunny’ with Jerome Kern, which introduced ‘Who.’ The two had expressed concern with the ‘integrated musical,’ wherein the book, score, as well as lyrics all add to the story line in addition to developing from a central idea. In the year 1926, in collaboration with Harbach too, Oscar produced a classic operetta known as ‘The Desert Song’ written with a composer by the name Sigmund Romberg (Pbs.org, 3). In the year 1927, in collaboration with Jerome Kern, Oscar authored the book as well as lyrics of ‘Show Boat’, one of the best of all musicals. ‘Show Boat’ established the reputation and success of Oscar as a lyricist and writer strongly. It was the ...Show more

Summary

Name Instructor Course Date Introduction Oscar Clendenning Hammerstein II, nicknamed Ockie, was born to William Hammerstein and Alice Nimmo Hammerstein in New York City on 12th July 1895. He came from a celebrated theatrical family – William, his father, was the director of a very prominent vaudeville theater known as Hammerstein's Victoria in Manhattan; Oscar I, his grandfather, was showman as well as an opera impresario; while Arthur, his uncle, was a renowned Broadway producer…
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BIOGRAPHY OF OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II essay example
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