Paulo Szot (Celebrant) with members of Chicago Children's Choir during the July 20 performance of "Mass" at Ravinia. (Patrick Gipson)
Last summer, the Ravinia Festival achieved an artistic high point with a vividly conceived production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” to celebrate the composer’s centennial. But 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. If the cinematography and sound recording do justice to what unfolded on the pavilion stage, America will see the enduring value of a major, long-underestimated Bernstein magnum opus.