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Gershwin's Let 'Em Eat Cake

From the Grand Theatre in Leeds, Wyn Davies conducts William Dazeley and Rebecca Moon in the British premiere of George and Ira Gershwin's 1933 Broadway musical.

Presented by Donald Macleod.

In a performance from the Grand Theatre in Leeds, Wyn Davies conducts the British premiere of George and Ira Gershwin's 1933 Broadway hit musical Let 'em Eat Cake - the sequel to his more popular Of Thee I Sing.

Like its follow-up, Let 'em Eat Cake was based on a book by George S Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, and had the same producer, writers and stars in its original Broadway incarnation. Its tone is much darker, though, and the issues are more complex - including ironic references to Fascism. However, Gershwin himself believed the piece contained some of his best music, and thought it to be his greatest achievment to date - although it never received the plaudits he thought it deserved.

It centres on US President John P Wintergreen, who after serving four years seeks re-election, only to find voters do not fall for his slogans and his 1930s spin. He loses the election by a landslide, but under the new regime, the political and economic situation spirals completely out of control. Soon, Wintergreen leads a blue-shirted revolution to victory, and the US is under the control of a new, albeit tried and tested, dictator.

This production by Opera North is directed by Caroline Gawn, with choreography by Caroline Pope.

Wintergreen ...... William Dazeley (bass)
Mary (his wife) ...... Rebecca Moon (soprano)
Throttlebottom ...... Steven Beard (tenor)
Louis Lipman ...... Nicholas Sharratt (tenor)
Francis X Gilhooly/Uncle William ...... Martin Hyder (baritone)
Matthew Arnold Fulton ...... Rob Edwards (baritone)
Carver Jones ...... Richard Morris (baritone)
Senator Robert E Lyons ...... Graham Howes (baritone)
Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North
Wyn Davies (conductor).

2 hours, 50 minutes

Last on

Sat 26 Sep 2009 18:00

Broadcast