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NY City Opera Does Grand ‘Brigadoon’

November 9, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ The New York City Opera, which presented a few unusually heavy German operas this season, is lightening up to end the season with a run of Lerner and Loewe’s musical, ″Brigadoon.″

The company is performing this 1947 Broadway show through Nov. 17 in grand style with voices that suit its marvelous songs, and the reproduction of some of Agnes de Mille’s best ballets. Paul Gemignani, who has been music director for more than 20 Broadway musicals, kept the orchestra sounding smooth but very alive at Friday night’s perfomance at the New York State Theater. The production had fine staging with care for details

Actor Tony Roberts, who was in ″Brigadoon″ when the company first staged the musical in 1986, is back as Jeff, Tommy’s sidekick and the show’s comic relief. If Jeff isn’t right then ″Brigadoon″ lacks sparkle. Roberts’ voice had the right combination of ennui and vigorous interest and his comic timing also is perfect.

George Dvorsky made his debut with the company as Tommy, and Elizabeth Walsh was Fiona. Her voice is lovely and graceful. His is light but serious. Tommy is a serious young man, trying to find himself but not really looking for escape in an 18th-century Scottish village.

Their last duet, ″From This Day On,″ is more operetta than musical comedy and both had the technique for it. Also, they conveyed the chemistry of nice people falling in love.

Camille de Ganon and Robert Tate were excellent as the village couple who get married. His voice is without the silvery top notes of some who’ve taken the role but makes up for it by being pleasingly full. De Ganon was touching in the dance she does as she dresses for her wedding. Louisa Flaningam made her debut as the earthy Meg Brockie, marginally more restrained than some Megs.

On the first night of ″Brigadoon,″ other singers sang the four leads. The casts will alternate.

Scott Fowler played Harry Beaton very well but, in unusual casting, wasn’t a spectacular dancer.

The chorus had the first and last words in ″Brigadoon″ and they made them beautiful.

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