Music ReviewsTom Williams

Camelot: In Concert

Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Direction by Paul Gemignani

At Ravinia Festival

Marvelous voices featured in stunning concert version of Camelot

Ravinia Festival’s one night concert version of Lerner & Loewe’s 1961 Camelot contained the lush score by Frederick Loewe sung magnificently by George Hearn (King Arthur), Sylvia McNair (Guenevere) and Rod Gilfry (Lancelot) with a full symphony orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani. The was a heavenly evening of great sings and terrific music!

George Hearn, Sylvia McNair & Rod Gilfry

Camelot’s story revolves around the idealistic, fair-minded English king who establishes rule of law over the ‘might equals right’ mentality. George Hearn is charismatic as Arthur, playing him as a pure understanding, reasonable and trusting fellow who places chivalry and loyalty as paramount values. His bride, Guenevere (Sylvia McNair, golden voiced) falls for the pompous and too pure French knight, Lancelot (the big-voiced Rod Gilfry). Featuring great standards like, “If Ever I Should Leave You,” “How To Handle A Woman” and the title song,”Camelot,” this concert is long on splendid music and strong voices.
The Pellimore (David Lively) character is a funny, outspoken and loyal friend of Arthur’s. Lively steals several scenes with his hilarious antics.

The concert sings quite expertly, with Hearn actually singing Arthur’s numbers with deep emotions. The concert format allows the large orchestra to overwhelm us with the lush score while we still get a glimpse of the story and the interaction of the characters. I especially enjoyed Rod Gilfry’s powerful and heart-felt booming Lancelot. Gilfry’s vocals are fabulous. Ravinia needs to find a way to do more than one night of these concert version of classical Broadway musicals.


Tom Williams

Leave a Reply