<< -- 2 -- Robert Anderson MOVING AND POWERFUL
This DVD from EMI began life at Glyndebourne in 1986, going on to Covent Garden six years
later for eventual recording at Shepperton Studios. Much of the cast remained throughout, as
did the LPO, Glyndebourne chorus, Simon Rattle on the rostrum and Trevor Nunn for the
staging. The work is in the safest possible hands, with Willard White tender, moving and
powerful as the lovable cripple, Cynthia Haymon ravishing to look at as Bess, helplessly at
the mercy of the men who manipulate her. Nunn's Catfish Row teems with vitality in its
rundown seediness, warmth of heart, and latent violence.
Paula Ingram as Clara. DVD screenshot © Primetime/BBC/EMI Records
Clara, acted by Paula Ingram and sung by Harolyn Blackwell, begins with a song Schoenberg
should have bit his lip and twisted his racquet not to have written
[watch and listen -- 'Summertime' (Act 1 Scene 1), chapter 2, 4:38-5:50].
The Glyndebourne chorus has never looked more southern American, wandered its part with more
aimless certainty, or responded more generously to each of the main characters. The stevedore
Crown, Bess's lover, has brutally slain a member of the community, as witnessed by Porgy, and
Bess mourns for the future as the dead man lies in his coffin
[watch and listen -- 'Oh, the train is at the station ...' (Act 1 Scene 2),
chapter 10, 54:14-55:24].
Copyright © 18 May 2006
Robert Anderson, London UK