RE: [Videolib] Cleopatra

John Holland (jholland@chipublib.org)
Mon, 17 Apr 2006 12:12:55 -0500

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There was a Met telecast of Aida with Leontyne Price, but it wasn't =
until the mid- to late '80's, and was the occasion of her retirement =
from the Met. The production however did not look remotely like the =
Taylor/Burton Cleopatra film - it was extremely austere. Also, the only =
two African Americans in the cast were Price and Simon Estes, playing =
Ethiopians, not Egyptians (they have been captured as slaves by the =
Egyptians). It has never been released on video either. A later =
production which reverted to the more popular "Cecil B. DeMille look" =
was televised but there were no black singers in the cast, and it was =
only about 10 - 15 years ago.
=20
If this is an opera you are looking for, there may have been something =
on TV at the time Lincoln Center opened (1966, I think), when the Met =
opened with the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera Antony and =
Cleopatra. I am not aware that this was televised as such, but there may =
have been some scenes shown on the news. That was a notoriously =
oversized production by Zeffirelli - so big and heavy it broke the stage =
turntable on opening night but the designs were very stylized and not =
"realistic" like the Taylor movie. It did star Leontyne Price as =
Cleopatra. There were no other African Americans in the cast as soloists =
but there were thousands of supers and dancers, so that may have upped =
the quota a bit.
=20
Otherwise, I have no clue!
=20
=20
=20
John Holland
Librarian, Popular Library
Harold Washington Library Center
Chicago Public Library
(312) 747-4113
=20

________________________________

From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu on behalf of Gerald A. =
Notaro
Sent: Thu 4/13/2006 11:48 AM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Cc: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Cleopatra

Probably a Live at the Met Aida with Leontyne Price.

Jerry

Beasley, Sarah wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I have a patron looking for a movie she saw on TV when she was a child
> and she has very sketchy details. It's a version of Cleopatra and she
> saw it sometime between the mid 60's - early 70's (she thinks on the
> early side of that range). Her memory of the film is that it has a
> majority or all-black cast and that the sets looked very much like the
> Elizabeth Taylor version of Cleopatra. She doesn't think it was a
> opera, but didn't rule it out entirely. Originally she thought the
> title was Cleopatra, but decided perhaps she was mistaken. Anyone =
have
> any ideas? (I've checked some of the usual sources, but I'm reluctant
> to list the specifics since it wouldn't hurt if someone double checked
> me!)
>
> Thanks,
> Sarah
>
> Sarah Beasley
> Manager, Film and Audio Department
> Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
> 4400 Forbes Avenue
> Pittsburgh, PA 15213
> 412.622.1918
> beasleys@carnegielibrary.org
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Videolib mailing list
> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>

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