In October 1981, James R. Morris directed and conducted a concert production of Rose-Marie in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian Institution recorded the performance, but for decades, the audio recording was not available commercially. In 2022, TMTP/Harbinger Records released the recording digitally and on CD. Starring Debra Vanderlinde and Ron Raines, this album is the only complete recording of Friml, Stothart, Harbach and Hammerstein’s 1924 score.
Co-producer Dwight Blocker Bowers, curator emeritus of the Smithsonian, said, “It’s not an overstatement to claim that Rose-Marie was the first American musical theater work to achieve wide international success. When the Smithsonian’s recordings program was suspended, the unreleased Rose-Marie was a casualty, and I was given the chance to rescue the master tapes. Hence the collaboration with Harbinger, whose slogan is apt: Albums for the Discerning Collector.”
Ted Chapin, retired president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, added, “Good operetta—and Rose-Marie is exactly that—is good theater, albeit of another era. Now, 98 years after its Broadway premiere, Rose-Marie is ready to be rediscovered by future generations in this historic 1981 recording.”