We are in the final preparations for this weekend’s opening of Camelot – Lerner & Loewe’s lush musical theater classic. Our Arthur (Peter Kendall Clark), Guenevere (Marissa McGowan) and Lancelot (Eugene Brancoveneau) are exceptional in their roles as the famed love triangle.
Their voices meld with incredible ease—and most of the thanks can go straight back to Frederick Loewe for his gorgeous melodies—yet this seems like quite a feat, considering all three leads come from different backgrounds – one opera, one musical theater, one both.
Now, more than ever, we are seeing crossovers between the genres of opera and musical theater from organizations, performers and composers. Famed actress and singer Audra McDonald said recently, “In terms of what is being written today, the line is becoming more and more blurred between the two forms. In the last couple of years, musical theater pieces have been written that require more from singers than before, while new operas are requiring more in terms of acting. In ''The Great Gatsby,'' for example, you needed someone like Lorraine Hunt, who could keep the drama moving forward. This question has come up a lot recently, and I think lately there has been more of a meeting of the minds between the two forms.”
Let’s take a listen to these familiar songs, sung by famous divas from both opera and musical theater worlds. Head over to Virginia Opera’s Facebook page and let us know what you think of the crossover…or what you’re looking forward to most at Camelot.
Broadway’s Golden Girls, Mary Testa, Audra McDonald and Rebecca Luker, and Opera’s Leading Ladies, Renée Fleming, Frederica von Stade, Marilyn Horne perform "Sing for Your Supper" from The Boys from Syracuse.
Porgy and Bess. Is it an opera? Is it musical theater? Does it matter? Here are two different versions—equally sublime—of Gershwin’s heart wrenching “Summertime” by Audra McDonald and Renée Fleming.
Many opera singers find the sparkling melodies of musical theater hard to resist. Here’s Birgit Nilsson sing My Fair Lady’s “I Could Have Danced All Night,” alongside a performance by the original Broadway voice of Ms. Eliza Doolittle (as well as Camelot’s first leading lady!), Julie Andrews.