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"It is for the health of lyric drama everywhere that I have undertaken to produce the Musical Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre," explained Morris Gest in a recent interview with a CRIMSON reporter. "Without some such stimulus as Dantchenko and his synthetic theatre are providing, the lyric drama would, I believe, drop to even lower levels than it has now reached and I doubt if ever before the public interest in opera has been much lower."
Mr. Gest walked restlessly back and forth in the hotel room hired for publicity purposes and then stopped suddenly with the remark, "I know it's impossible to convince the public that any theatrical producer is ever impelled by any other than trousers pocket motives. Most of the stuff that's put on the stage today would never be produced if it were not for the big financial income expected from it. But if it were true that I had no reasons for my work outside of money I would have spent the rest of my life putting on shows with plenty of gaudy and inexpensive stage scenery and plenty of feminine scenery. Bringing the Russians over here entails ghastly expenses and it's very much of a gamble as to whether I'll ever get anything back on them.
Gest Sick of Broadway Shows
"The reason I'm taking the chance is that I'm sick and tired of ordinary Broadway shows and that I hope, if a return of the good American operettas is impossible, to encourage the development of another American school of musical show.
"In the Musical Studio every effort has been made to secure a complete coordination of all the elements which should enter into the opera.
"The Musical Studio's system of having a chorus always present on the stage as a background for the rest of the music is undoubtedly a great step forward. Other composers have understood the principle, but have failed to see how the chorus could be present without awkwardness."
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