ROBERT LIVINGSTON ALDRIDGE (b.1954): Elmer Gantry.
Catalogue Number: 09N078
Description: After a gestation period of 17 years, this opera based on Sinclair Lewis' novel (libretto by Herschel Garfein, son of Jack Garfein, the director of the odd and fascinating 1961 film Something Wild starring his wife Carroll Baker) finally came to fruition in 2007. Concentrating on the relationship between Elmer and the charismatic Sharon Falconer, it offers plenty of opportunities for hymns, gospel songs, marches and dances in a score which echoes Gershwin and Copland in evoking its period, which is 1905-13. Opera News called it "theatrically gripping, unapologetically melodic" and a "marvelous amalgam of toe-tapping accessibility" while The New York Times called it "an intoxicating experience". It is. It would be great if this performance could also come out on DVD. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Keith Phares (baritone), Patricia Risley (mezzo), Vale Rideout, Frank Kelley (tenors), Florentine Opera Chorus, Florentine Opera Company, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; William Boggs.