Finding Eléazar: Portrait of a Tenor and a Role (2005)

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"Finding Eléazar" is a feature length documentary which chronicles the journey of international opera star NEIL SHICOFF as he develops the infamous tenor role of Eléazar from the Grand French opera La Juive. The film traces Mr. Shicoff's personal history, his religion and beliefs as he internalizes the dichotomy of a character who gives his own daughter to death because of his own intolerance, fanaticism and urge for revenge.Throughout his journey, Mr. Shicoff is put to the test concerning his purpose as an artist who is determined to deliver a message of tolerance and compassion even though he plays a persecuted fanatical Jewish character in a world filled with hatred and discrimination. La Juive, a once extremely popular opera was banned by the Nazis, and subsequently disappeared from the world stages. Discovering this history, Mr. Shicoff struggles with the parallels between the intolerant, violent world of the opera and the horrifyingly similar real world of today.The film exposes Mr. Shicoff's emotional and ever changing characterization of Eléazar in candid behind-the-scenes footage taken during a live performance at the Vienna Staatsoper and the making of a Music Video of the most famous aria from La Juive. The Music Video itself is directed by legendary filmmaker SIDNEY LUMET and offers yet another breathtaking interpretation of Eléazar.--© Millenial Arts Productions

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Critic Reviews for Finding Eléazar: Portrait of a Tenor and a Role

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (5)

A promotional video masquerading as a documentary.

Oct 28, 2005

Because his self-conscious musings are given so much space, it helps to arrive at the movie already awed by Shicoff's talents so you can overlook his (and this dramatically unfocused film's) flaws.

Sep 16, 2005 | Rating: 2/4

To observe the tenor Neil Shicoff's thrilling performance of the final aria from Fromental Halevy's 1835 opera 'La Juive' ('The Jewess') at the Vienna State Opera is to watch a singing actor shoot the moon.

Sep 16, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Will be of keen interest to fans but plays to the unwashed as cringingly pompous.

Sep 13, 2005 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Only true opera diehards will appreciate the backstage psychodrama, a catalog aria of the singer's multiple neuroses.

Sep 13, 2005 | Full Review…

A certain obviousness of tone creeps into the film at moments. This obviousness unfortunately overwhelms her cinematic climax.

Mar 1, 2007 | Full Review…

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