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Floyd, Carlisle: Willie Stark (NDV22002)

Floyd, Carlisle: Willie Stark (NDV22002)


 
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Dugg McDonough Director, Dennis Jesse as Willie

Power passion and politics collide in dynamic setting of All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren's classic story of ambition, betrayal, and violent tragedy. In this immediately engaging and beautifully paced opera, the great demagogue of America's political fiction, Willie Stark, springs to life as an unforgettable stage character. Willie's meteoric and soul-searching rise from grassroots politician to powerful and ruthless state governor is captured in words and music that are rousing, moving, and haunting. LSU Opera's new Willie Stark brings fresh excitement to a quintessentially American masterpiece.

5.0 out of 5 stars Article from the Baton Rouge Advocate
This review is from: LSU Opera Presents: Carlisle Floyd's Willie Stark (DVD)
By MICHAEL FARRAR
Special to theadvocate.com
Published: May 15, 2008


"Willie Stark" is an Earth-scorching opera that grabs your ears and eyes as it connects to Huey Long's mysterious and lasting legacy in a high-definition DVD format.

Gov. Long's life was indeed packed with political and personal drama that included battling giant companies in court cases, career-making power grabs, alleged kickbacks, blistering speeches and outright threats of almost anyone who dared to tangle with the Kingfish.

Such a tale of power brokering has obvious operatic themes that also translates to hard-hitting drama as seen on cop shows, said director Larry Kraman, who borrowed some TV production techniques to put the opera on DVD.

"I wanted to bring a little bit of `Law & Order' immediacy and handheld camera work to this piece to make it more interesting for people who watch these things on TV and in the theaters," Kraman said. "It makes you feel like you are in the action."

When LSU Opera first put "Willie Stark" on their schedule, they were only considering making an audio recording for CD.

"Then we had conversations and meetings with Larry Kraman of Newport Classics who urged us to go in the direction of DVD instead of CD," McDonough, artistic director of LSU Opera, explained.

While McDonough worked out the live production (performers, costumes, sets, lighting, etc.), Kraman ran a high definition camera crew for the DVD project.

Kraman was very impressed with the LSU Opera's stage presentation.