For the first time in France, and to start off the celebrations of Bernstein’s centennial, the delightful Wonderful Town at the Opéra de Toulon!
Wonderful Town © Olivier Pastor
With a keen sensitivity to the demands and specificities of the American “musical”, and after the triumph of Sondheim’s Follies in 2015, the Opéra de Toulon once again embarks on a Broadway adventure with the French premiere of Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, and brings back for the occasion stage director Olivier Bézénech, a major connoisseur of the genre.
A true declaration of love to the city of New-York, Wonderful Town tells the tale, with a boisterous rhythm and vast amounts of jazzy tunes, of two sisters from Ohio looking for success and glory in the big city. Lighter in tone than later works like West Side Story or Candide, its smart combination of the different musical traditions one could hear when wandering in the streets of New-York, its accomplished orchestral writing and colouring, and its vivid sense of comedy earned it no less than five Tony awards when it premiered in 1953.
A story of love and swing with a touch of social satire, it is here revived with all the energy and the sparkle one could hope for : from the highly effective scenography by Luc Londiveau and Gilles Papain to the authenticity and thoughtfulness of Bézénech’s precise and vigorous direction of the cast. American conductor Larry Blank, well-known by the Broadway scene and therefore no stranger to the traps this falsely naive score can set, works wonders with the in-house orchestra, filling the hearts of the audience with a contagious cheerfulness that will not be easy to forget…
English title Wonderful Town
Recording location Opéra de Toulon
Production year 2018
Duration 120 minutes
Production Company Bel Air Media
Co-Production Company Opéra de Toulon
Director Andy Sommer
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