British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Leonard Bernstein Conducts’West Side Story’

Synopsis
Television documentary that follows conductor Leonard Bernstein as he records, over four days, the first complete recording of West Side Story. Filmed in a New York recording studio with a pick-up orchestra, session singers, and singers Kiri Te Kanawa (Maria), José Carreras (Tony), Tatiana Troyanos (Anita), and Kurt Ollmann (Riff). Alternates rehearsal footage with complete final takes of the main numbers including ‘Tonight’, ‘America’, and ‘Maria’ with limited comments from the principal players. Te Kanawa explains how much the music means to her, Troyanos notes how she grew up in the very streets depicted on stage, and Carreras provides a rare moment of tension when a session ends unsatisfactorily and he walks out. Bernstein himself is by turns bullying, charming, enthusiastic, and weary. Carreras’ singing of ‘Maria’ is joyous.
Series
Omnibus
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Notes
Available on DVD on NTSC only (4/2007).
Subjects
Music
Keywords
musicals; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Credits

Director
Christopher Swann
Producer
Humphrey Burton
Cinematographer
John Else
Contributor
Leonard Bernstein
Cast
José Carreras 
Kiri Te Kanawa 
Kurt Ollman 
Tatiana Troyanos 

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

Distributor

Name

Deutsche Grammophon

Online Retailer

Name

amazon.com

Web
http://www.amazon.com External site opens in new window
View this record on the Shakespeare site for additional details

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