Great Performances: Season 29, Episode 16

Little Women (29 Aug. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
6.9
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Title: Little Women (29 Aug 2001)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Stephanie Novacek ...
Chad Shelton ...
Laurie
Margaret Lloyd ...
Stacey Tappan ...
Joyce DiDonato ...
Gwendolyn Jones ...
Alma March
Daniel Belcher ...
James Maddalena ...
...
Derrick Parker ...
Mr. Dashwood
Chen-Ye Yuan ...
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29 August 2001 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Version of Little Women: Pilot (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Little Women: The Opera
9 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I heard that there was an opera version of Little Women, I was immediately interested as I adore the book and have always admired Joyce DiDonato. I found this production from Houston wonderful. The production values do nothing to distract from the libretto or story, they are never fussy and are true to the period the story is set in. The staging is intelligent and intimate, with Beth's death scene and the nocturne between the four sisters very emotional. Brian Large's video directing is equally adept. The music by Mark Adamo is quite a find, the orchestration is very rich and tuneful, and the orchestral playing with its warm and unobtrusive sounds matches those qualities. Patrick Summers' conducting is more subtle and poetic than usual, perfect for the music.

The performances are truly excellent. Joyce DiDonato- especially in Things Change, Jo- brings her usual beautiful voice, spot-on musicality and dramatic commitment as well as personal beauty as Meg, while Stacey Tappan is a touching Beth and Margaret Lloyd's Amy is also fine. Gwendolyn Jones plays "Marmee" with real sincerity, Chad Shelton brings naivety and charm to Laurie, Daniel Belcher is a loyal Brooke and James Maddalena is a sturdy and loving father figure. Chen-Ye Yuan's Professor Bhaer is rather stiff but beautifully sung, in contrast Katherine Ciesinski embodies the domineering aunt. But top honours go to the Jo of Stephanie Novacek, who brings out both a determination and vulnerability to such a headstrong character and she sings really beautifully.

Overall, a wonderful production. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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