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Some Enchanted Evening
South Pacific (Movie Version)
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Some Enchanted EveningFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Songwriter(s) Oscar Hammerstein IIComposer(s) Richard Rodgers
"Some Enchanted Evening" is a show tune from the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific. It is "the single biggest popular hit to come out of any Rodgers and Hammerstein show." It is a three-verse solo for the leading male character, Emile, in which he describes seeing a stranger, knowing that he will see her again, and dreaming of her laughter. He sings that when you find your "true love", you must "fly to her side, / And make her your own".
The song appears in the first act of the musical. It is sung as a solo by the show's male lead, Emile de Becque, a middle-aged French expatriate who has become a plantation owner on a South Pacific island during World War II. Emile falls in love with Ensign Nellie Forbush, an optimistic and naive young American navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas. The two have known each other for only a few weeks, and each worries that the other may not return his or her love. Emile expresses his romantic feelings for Nellie, recalling how they met at an officers' club dance and instantly were attracted to each other. He asks her to marry him. In the song, he describes a man seeing a stranger and instantly knowing he will see her again, hearing her laughter and dreaming of it. He says that when you find your "true love", you must "fly to her side, / And make her your own"; otherwise, all your life you will "dream all alone". The song is then reprised several times during the show by Nellie and/or Emile as their relationship experiences setbacks and reconciliations.
In the original Broadway production, "Some Enchanted Evening" was sung by former Metropolitan Opera bass Ezio Pinza. Pinza won the Tony Award for Best Actor in 1950 for this role, and the song made him a favorite with audiences and listeners who normally did not attend or listen to opera. In the 2001 London revival of the show, Philip Quast won an Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Emile, and seven years later, international opera singer Paulo Szot won a Tony for his portrayal in the 2008 New York revival.
In the film version of South Pacific, the first and second scenes of the play are switched around. Because of the switch, Emile enters later in the film, and "Some Enchanted Evening" is not heard until nearly 45 minutes into the film, while in the original stage version it is heard about 15 minutes after Act I begins. In the film, the song is sung by another Metropolitan Opera bass, Giorgio Tozzi, who dubbed the singing for actor Rossano Brazzi. Tozzi's version finished at No. 28 on the 2004 American Film Institute list and television special, AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs, selecting the top 100 songs in American cinema.
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