We recently attended a stellar performance of It’s A Wonderful Life at Houston Grand Opera. Through the years, Jimmy Stewart’s portrayal of George Bailey in the black and white film of It’s a Wonderful Life has captivated audiences. Seeing it as an opera is even more memorable.
The story shows the difference one man can make in the lives of many people in the small New York town of Bedford Falls. It is a favorite at this time of the year. The opera opens with a scene in heaven with Clara, an apprentice angel, wanting to earn her wings. After waiting 200 years, she gets her chance to return to earth and help George Bailey on Christmas Eve when he was considering ending his life.. The set and costumes of the Winged Angels, First Class were brilliant. The wings moved and the angels also moved. No question you were in heaven. Clara comes to Bedford Falls and encounters George and many doorways which when opened depict periods in George’s life which showed how he had been instrumental in improving the lives of the people around him.
Houston Grand Opera improved on the classic film, bringing the story to life with the world premier of the opera version by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer. The music and the voices resonated through the Wortham with a highly-memorable performance. The orchestra directed by Patrick Summers, provided the perfect support for the voices of tenor, William Burden (George Bailey), and soprano, Andrea Carroll (Mary Hatch), George’s wife. The blending of their voices gave a performance to remember and will keep us coming back for more.
We highly recommend it! It is an opera you do not want to miss. It’s A Wonderful Life runs through December 17, 2016. Find more information and get tickets here.