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Singing Gatsby

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by coffeecritic

You've read the book, you've seen the movie, maybe you've even seen the old movie. But have you heard the opera?

     great gatsby opera

In 1999, the Metropolitan Opera commissioned John Harbison to write an opera of "The Great Gatsby" in honor of music director James Levine's 25th anniversary with the company. Harbison also wrote the libretto and a dozen jazz-age style songs which are included in the opera. It was premiered in 1999 and has had subsequent performances by Chicago Lyric Opera, and a chamber opera version by Ensemble Parallele in San Francisco last year.

You can hear the premiere recording  with Jerry Hadley in the title role, along with Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, and Susan Graham.

Then check out the WQXR blog "Adapting 'The Great Gatsby': Film or Opera?" and see if you agree with the comparisons.