The grand spectacle of opera -- the mega-stars, the scenery, the lights, the costumes -- would be much less grand were it not for the incredible talents and contributions of the opera chorus. Winner of a Best Documentary Academy Award (in 1991) "... Shadow ..." highlights several members of the San Francisco Opera chorus -- one of the best in the US -- displaying their talents, their dreams and ambitions, their everyday lives.
From the baritone who married the mezzo to the husband of one of today's superstars (Ruth Ann Swenson), we see exactly what is involved in rehearsal and performance, the long hours, the commitment and versatility required to sing the variety of repertoire required of the members of the chorus. The video includes scenes of rehearsals and performances of "Il Trovatore," "Parsifal," "L'Africaine," "Flying Dutchman," "The Rake's Progress," and "MacBeth" among others.
In keeping with the anonymous nature of a chorister's existence, none of the featured singers is identified in the credits (a few of them do identify themselves during their segments). The editing is incredibly well-done, the photography is wonderful, and the entire film "flows" with a sense of music and rhythm.
A must see for any singer who aspires to sing onstage; or for anyone who desires a greater appreciation of just what goes into opera performance.