Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NY Philharmonic Tribute To William Warfield Role In "Show Boat"

Can't Help Lovin' That Man: The 1962 cast recording of
Show Boat featuring John Raitt, Barbara Cook,  music director
 Franz Allers, and William Warfield. (Photo: Don Hunstein)
"In anticipation of the New York Philharmonic's production of Show Boat, Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence Carol J. Oja explores the African American baritone William Warfield, whose relationship with the philharmonic began at the summer Stadium Concerts at Lewisohn Stadium with his performance as Joe in a 1952 concert version of Show Boat. The lecture includes clips from the 1951 MGM film featuring Warfield as Joe and his 1976 performance with the Philharmonic in London narrating Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait, conducted by Leonard Bernstein." The event is free and takes place at the David Rubenstein Atrium on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, at 7:30 PM. [SourceFor more information about the New York Philharmonic production of Show Boat featuring Vanessa William, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Lauren Worsham, and Norm Lewis, click here. "William Caesar Warfield (January 22, 1920 – August 26, 2002), was an American concert bass-baritone singer and actor. Warfield was born in West Helena, Arkansas and grew up in Rochester, New York, where his father was called to serve as pastor of Mt. Vernon Church. He gave his recital debut in New York's Town Hall on March 19, 1950. He was quickly invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to tour Australia and give 35 concerts. In 1952, Warfield performed in Porgy and Bess during a tour of Europe sponsored by the U.S. State Department (he made six separate tours for the US Department of State, more than any other American solo artist.) In this production he played opposite the opera star Leontyne Price, whom he soon married, but the demands of two separate careers left them
Gershwin Partners: Leontyne Price and William Warfield
recorded highlights from Porgy and Bess for RCA.
little time together. They divorced in 1972, but were featured together in a 1963 studio recording of excerpts from Porgy and Bess." [Source] "Show Boat is a 1927 musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel of the same name, the musical follows the lives of the performers, stagehands, and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over forty years, from 1887 to 1927. Its themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. The musical contributed such classic songs as 'Ol' Man River,' 'Make Believe,' and 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man.'" Watch William Warfield sing "Ol' Man River" from Show Boat, after the jump.

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