Just in: Hal Prince is dead

Just in: Hal Prince is dead


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2019

The great Broadway director has gone to the great white way in the sky. He was 91.

Others will write his obit. He was pivotal to the career of Stephen Sondheim –¬†Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Pacific Overtures (1976), and Sweeney Todd (1979).

I saw him stage Turandot at the Vienna State Opera in 1983 at Lorin Maazel’s commission. It was his first opera and a damp squib.

He had another go at Madam Butterfly, but opera was not his Fach. He took up Bernstein, Kurt Weill, other inbetweeners.

He directed Evita and Phantom for Andrew Lloyd Webber. That worked.




  • Drew says:

    A wise man of the theater. He famously and perceptively emphasized the difference between a hit and a success, and between a flop and a failure. A show can be both a commercial hit and an artistic success, but they are very different things–and not mutually assured. And throughout his career, even in the later years, he continued to enthusiastically support and nurture emerging creative talents. A true mensch.

  • Novagerio says:

    The Vienna Turandot with Maazel/Marton/Carreras/Ricciarelli was a great show!

  • Martain Smith says:

    I met him personally – and he unquestionably radiated “star quality”! He also knew in musicals what to produce or direct – and what not.
    Opera was another thing!

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Another giant of The Broadway Stage passes….
    Have a happy next life, Mr. Prince.

  • John Rook says:

    I worked with him regularly in the early 90’s, a wonderful man. Was only telling someone about him yesterday, had no idea he’d died. Thanks for your wisdom, Hal; it was great knowing you.