Showboat -- Is it America's first opera?

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woodsyi

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Showboat -- Is it America's first opera?
« on: 6 May 2013, 07:03 pm »
I saw a new production of Show Boat by Jerome Kearn - Oscar Hammerstein II at the WNO.  It's co-produced with San Francisco, Chicago and Houston.  The production creator, Francesca Zambello, is now the artistic director for the WNO.  She posed a question whether this shouldn't be considered the America's first opera (as it predates Gershwin's Porgy and Bess).  I was skeptical but I am all for it after seeing it. 

I loved the way Morris Robinson sings the"aria," Old Man River

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7l66RXbOnM



I don't care if it's opera or Broadway -- it's good.  Man, I had chills going down my spine when he went down deep to sing the Old Man River.

You gotta see it when it comes around in your city.  Chicago already had it.  So I imagine it will come to San Francisco and Houston soon.

S Clark

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Re: Showboat -- Is it America's first opera?
« Reply #1 on: 7 May 2013, 01:52 am »
Damn you, Rim.  I have had the song "Make Believe" (I even hate the musical Show Boat) going through my head for nearly a week... driving me crazier, and my wife has been to point of throwing things at me when I break out into song.  I had just moved on to a different tune when I see this post.  :flak:  I had even been browsing youtube listening to various versions.  I didn't know this one existed from the early thirties.     

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiVCQi4Wv0Y 
I had only known Alan Jones from the Marx Bros. movies.     

woodsyi

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Re: Showboat -- Is it America's first opera?
« Reply #2 on: 7 May 2013, 02:47 pm »
Well, if we are going down this road...

We might as well mention "Can't Help Loving' Dat Man."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omb2kItC-JY



Phil_S

Re: Showboat -- Is it America's first opera?
« Reply #3 on: 14 May 2013, 04:33 pm »
I think it would be Tremonisha, a 1910 opera by Scott Joplin.

Randy

Re: Showboat -- Is it America's first opera?
« Reply #4 on: 8 Jun 2013, 04:44 am »
Great songs does not an opera make. You could consider Show Boat an operetta, however, but it's really a good old fashioned American musical, and what's wrong with that? If only somebody could write them like they used to. Truly, a lost American art form.

An American opera even earlier than Joplin's is "Azara" byJohn Knowles Paine which was written in 1901, and George Frederick Bristow wrote several operas in the 1850s. They aren't exactly standards of the repertoire, however.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_0gSbBVC48