Review: Ravinia staging of Bernstein’s “Mass,” recorded for future broadcast

Posted on: July 25, 2019

“Last summer, the Ravinia Festival achieved an artistic high point with a vividly conceived production of Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Mass,’ ” writes Howard Reich in Sunday’s (7/21) Chicago Tribune. “What happened Saturday night at the festival was much more than just a revival of that staging. With cameras filming the proceedings for a national broadcast next year (details to be announced), this ‘Mass’ proved more sharply dramatic, intricately choreographed and ferociously performed than last time…. Baritone Paulo Szot, who mastered the role [of the Celebrant] last summer, this time offered a still deeper dive into its darkest recesses … his sounds more stark … his desperation more abject. And when members of the Street Chorus rushed from the stage out into the audience, the production’s sense of chaos and decadence was more terrifying than last year…. Marin Alsop … somehow kept a couple hundred musicians not only on the same page but in the same musical spirit, with a muscular performance from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and plush tones from Vocality and the Chicago Children’s Choir, directed by Josephine Lee…. Ravinia has created a ‘Mass’ that clearly deserves the wide TV audience it’s going to receive.”

Posted July 25, 2019