Movie Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera - The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess () download free
Book Title: Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera - The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess|
Directors: Tazewell Thompson
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: 2002-03-20
Runtime: 160 min
Stars: Marquita Lister,Alvy Powell,Timothy Robert Blevins
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Full movie description "Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera - The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess":The New York City Opera's new production of Gershwin's classic opera
Reviews of the Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera - The Gershwins' Porgy and BessThis production of Gershwin's immortal classic, "Porgy and Bess", is a live staging based on the landmark 1976 Houston Opera production, the most complete version of the opera performed onstage up to that time. In this revival, however, it is the New York City Opera which performs the work. While it is certainly enjoyable on its own, those who have seen the brilliant 1993 Glyndebourne television version directed by former Royal Shakespeare Company head Trevor Nunn, not to be confused with Nunn's disastrous second production of the work, will feel a distinct sense of disappointment.
Perhaps it is the fact that it is Tazewell Thompson who directs this new 2002 staging, and not Jack O'Brien, director of the 1976 Houston Opera production, that keeps this latest revival from being what I hoped it would be. (I never saw that 1976 production, but I can assure you from listening to the Houston Opera CD recording of "Porgy and Bess" that, judging from the recording, it must have been quite something.)
But even if the Houston Opera had not staged the work, the first Trevor Nunn production, presented on stage in 1989 and videotaped in a television studio in 1993, is no less than brilliant, even with that near-catastrophic symbolic touch at the end. Not only did Nunn coax vivid acting performances from his cast of magnificent singers, he also added many tiny details to the work which enhanced it, in addition to very evocative uses of lighting. And that production, having been recorded in a television studio, had full-size sets, giving the cast far more space to move around in--very nearly like a movie sound stage.
In this current 2002 production, although there is some use of different camera angles, and more than a few closeups of the singers, we never forget that we are looking at an auditorium stage. But that would not be such a drawback if the director had shown more imagination. The direction is strictly conventional, as if Thompson had merely been dutifully following the stage directions in the libretto most of the time. The cast, on the whole, does not measure up to the one in the 1993 television production, with the fabulous exception of Marquita Lister in the role of Bess. Her Bess is not only well sung, it is richly and vividly drawn and practically jumps out of the TV screen at the audience. Her disdain of Crown's drinking is more sharply drawn here than in the 1993 version, in which Cynthia Haymon's Bess seemed more susceptible to Crown's influence, but that may have been a decision of the director and not the soprano. The obvious love and concern for Porgy which Ms. Lister's Bess displays here is extremely touching, despite what happens at the end (no spoilers here for those who don't know the work).
Alvy Powell's Porgy comes across as an agreeable personality, but he simply does not measure up in either voice or acting ability, and neither do any of the other singers. While they are reasonably good singers, they are merely competent dramatically, no better or worse than any other good singers who tackle the roles. They are not vivid characterizations, as in the 1993 production.
Conductor John DeMain, who also led the 1976 Houston Opera production both onstage and on CD, does a fine job, but there are far more cuts in this production of "Porgy" than in the Trevor Nunn production--this, to bring the production in at three hours counting the twenty minute intermission. For me this was the final blow, especially as, during the intermission, the director went on and on about what a glorious thing it was that "Porgy" had been staged complete in opera houses! Why go on about this, and then make yourself a sitting duck by cutting the opera by nearly twenty minutes?
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Movie Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera - The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess download free
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