Great Performances: Season 21, Episode 15

Oedipus Rex (26 May 1993)

TV Episode  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 118 users  
Reviews: 6 user

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Langridge ...
Oedipus Dancer
Bryn Terfel ...
Harry Peeters ...
Robert Swensen ...
Michio Tatara ...
Kayoko Shiraishi ...
The Speaker
Katerina Bakatsaki ...
Michael Curry ...
Toyosaburo Hanayagi ...
Hisako Horikawa ...
Asako Hotta ...
Yayoe Inage ...
Hanako Kitazawa ...


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Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA)  »

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28 January 2006 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

A pretty straightforward rendition of Stravinsky's extraordinary dramatic oratorio, dramatically and musically speaking. Most striking is the production design, not entirely divorced from Noh theatre with its economical, stylised movements and masks (worn on rather than over the head by the soloists).

Key to the success of this film of the staging is the intrusive freedom of the camera, getting right in close to singers, chorus and actors alike. This is a good compensating decision in respect of the comparative immobility of the cast (in respect of Stravinsky's intentions).

The music is well-performed although the sound, taken from the live performances has a bizarre open-air recoil to it. This doesn't detract from the overall impact of the film though - it may even be said to be a defining feature of it. 6/10

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