Jake Heggie & Terrence McNally's Great Scott

Jake Heggie & Terrence McNally's Great Scott

by Joyce DiDonato


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Librettist Terence McNally has contended that Great Scott should not be classified as a comic opera, and indeed the issues of opera's place in American culture, and that of the arts more generally, are lurking about here. But there's no getting around the fact that the work is funny, belly-laugh funny, and not just you-know-you're-supposed-to-laugh-here funny, and composer Jake Heggie has set up the best lines with an exquisite touch. Moreover, the contrast with the pair's previous collaboration, Dead Man Walking (2000), is inescapable. Great Scott is mezzo soprano Ardis Scott, returning to perform with the American Opera company that helped launch her career. The company is struggling but is kept afloat by the opera-enthusiast wife of the owner of the local professional football team, giving rise to such risible details as showing the score of the game on the supertitles screen along with the text. Scott (Joyce DiDonato, in superb form, and her fans will want this release regardless of any other issues) has brought along a rediscovered bel canto opera called Rosa Dolorosa, Figlia di Pompei, and the story follows the opera's premier production. This sets up all kinds of lively scenes, allowing Heggie to allude to actual bel canto, McNally to build delightful romantic triangles, and both of the pair to evoke the backstage atmosphere they know better than almost anyone else. You might sample the opening overture, something which is rare enough in contemporary opera. All the principals are delightful, especially Frederica von Stade as the patron of the arts, and the Orchestra and Chorus of the Dallas Opera under Patrick Summers keep things moving. This recording was made during four live performances in the opera's initial run; you could probably find cleaner live recordings, but few that convey the audience's evident enjoyment of the music. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/12/2018
Label: Erato
UPC: 0190295940782
catalogNumber: 566014
Rank: 85736


  1. Great Scott, opera

    1. Act 1: Overtures to Great Scott and Rosa Dolorosa, Figlia di Pompei  (07:19)
    2. Act 2: Prelude  (01:58)
    3. Act 1: Rehearsal, Part One  (01:47)
    4. Act 2: Scene 1: The Starry Spangled Banner: Ladies and Gentlemen  (04:08)
    5. Act 1: The Wedding Procession from Rosa Dolorosa  (04:35)
    6. Act 2: Scene 2: Backstage: Arden, you have seen the future  (04:04)
    7. Act 1: Vesuvio, il mio unico amico  (05:05)
    8. Act 2: Scene 3: Rosa Dolorosa, Act One: Ah! Tremo!  (06:32)
    9. Act 1: Five years ago...  (04:14)
    10. Act 2: Scene 4: Backstage: I thought that went extremely well  (02:01)
    11. Act 1: Ensemble and Cabaletta  (04:57)
    12. Act 2: Scene 5: Arden's Dressing Room: It's open, Roane  (07:02)
    13. Act 1: Break  (01:05)
    14. Act 2: Scene 5: I don't care how good what was  (04:21)
    15. Act 1: Talk to me about Roane, Winnie  (03:56)
    16. Act 2: Scene 5: You'll never be her  (02:48)
    17. Act 1: The writing's on the wall  (02:51)
    18. Act 2: Scene 5: Maestro Bazzetti, are you there?  (01:48)
    19. Act 1: What are the Grizzlies' chances?  (02:03)
    20. Act 2: Scene 5: Look for me, i'm there on every page  (06:21)
    21. Act 1: I want to be America's soprano  (05:12)
    22. Act 2: Scene 5: All that you leave behind  (03:30)
    23. Act 1: Duet Scene  (05:57)
    24. Act 2: Scene 5: Arden. Arden! You're not dressed for the Mad Scene!  (01:02)
    25. Act 1: Oh, Mrs. F  (03:35)
    26. Act 2: Scene 6: In the Wings: No man over twenty should be asked to wear a toga  (01:03)
    27. Act 1: Sorry Tommy's late  (10:43)
    28. Act 2: Scene 7: Rosa Dolorosa: La bellissima Agrippina  (04:06)
    29. Act 1: Rehearsal, Part Two  (05:11)
    30. Act 2: Scene 7: Padre divino (Rosa's Prayer)  (03:12)
    31. Act 1: I get scxared, too, Tommy  (04:37)
    32. Act 2: Scene 7: Io sola posso salvare Pompei (Finale)  (04:37)
    33. Act 1: The Fountain Dance  (01:37)
    34. Act 2: Scene 8: Curtain Calls: Applause / Mrs. Flato, I'm so sorry about the Grizzlies  (01:41)
    35. Act 1: It's a disaster  (03:46)
    36. Act 2: Scene 8: Thank you for your wonderful support  (03:14)
    37. Act 2: Scene 9: Arden's Dressing Room: Look at the chat boards  (04:55)
    38. Act 2: Scene 9: It's always the song, not the singer  (04:10)
    39. Act 2: Scene 10: Center Stage: Wow. You're beautiful  (02:17)
    40. Act 2: Scene 10: The empty theater  (02:25)

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