05.14.2019

Actors Kelsey Grammer & Danielle de Niese

“Man of La Mancha” has just been revived on the London stage. Christiane sits down with its stars — “Frasier” veteran Kelsey Grammer and “opera’s coolest soprano” Danielle de Niese — to discuss the show, Grammer’s own personal tragedies, and what gives them both hope.

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HERE WE ARE, THE LONDON COLOSSEUM, HOME OF THE ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA DOING 'MAN OF LA MANCHA.'

WHAT TRAEKD YOU TO THIS SCRIPT, TO THIS PERFORMANCE?

WHY DID YOU COME HERE TO DO IT?

I GUESS IT'S THE SONG, THE BIG SONG, 'IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.'

I GREW UP LISTENING TO IT.

I HEARD EVERY VERSION AS A CHILD, MY MOM DRIVING A CAR, IT WAS ON THE RADIO, BUT I ALWAYS LOVED IT.

I ALWAYS THOUGHT, BOY, THAT'S A POWERFUL VISION TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.

CARE TO GIVE US A COUPLE OF BARS?

I COULD JUST DO A BAR.

♪ TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, TO FIGHT THE UNBEATABLE FOE ♪ YEAH, IT'S --

THE WORDS ARE SO GREAT.

IT'S AN EXTRAORDINARY SONG.

THE FEELING AND SORT OF THE INSPIRATIONAL QUALITY OF IT, YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL OPERA SINGER AND HERE YOU ARE DOING THIS MUSICAL, SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.

IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT YOU ARE A GREAT OPERA SINGER WHEN YOU'RE THERE.

HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT SONG?

THE SONG IS AMAZING.

I GET TO SING IT AT THE END, AND IT'S A HUGELY INSPIRATIONAL SONG AND IT'S THE SONG THAT TRANSCENDED THE MUSICAL IN A WAY AND SEEPED INTO THE MASS CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS.

♪ TO BEAR WITH UNBEARABLE SORROW ♪

LOVELY.

IT'S REALLY BEAUTIFUL.

I GUESS I'M SORT OF CONCENTRATING ON THESE WORDS, BECAUSE I'VE ALSO BEEN REALLY SORT OF ATTRACTED TO THIS PERFORMANCE AND THE FILM BACK IN 1972, AND I THINK IT REALLY, AND YOU CAN TELL FROM THE AUDIENCE STRIKES A CHORD BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT INSPIRATION.

IT'S ABOUT IDEALISM.

IT'S ABOUT, WELL, TRYING TO BEAT AND BATTLE THE ODDS.

A FUNNY STORY, I TOOK A DATE TO THE FILM.

I WAS IN MY LATE TEENS I THINK, AND I JUST STARTED TO WEEP AT THE END, AND SORT OF BOLTED OUT THE SIDE OF THE MOVIE THEATER, AND THIS LOVELY YOUNG LADY CAME UP BEHIND ME AND SAID GOSH, I GUESS YOU KIND OF RELATED.

I GUESS SO.

I'M NOT SURE OUR FUTURE WAS DESTINED TO GO ANYWHERE AFTER THAT, BUT YOU KNOW.

IT'S GREAT, THOUGH.

IT'S ALSO A PIECE ABOUT REDEMPTION, WHICH IS A BIG JOURNEY THAT SOME OF THE CHARACTERS HAVE TO MAKE, TO FIND THE WAY IN WHICH THEY CAN SEE THEMSELVES AND SEE THE HOPE THAT LIES WITHIN THEM, BECAUSE I THINK YOUR CHARACTER HAS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF HOPE, BUT NOBODY HAS ANY HOPE IN YOU, AND THEN MY CHARACTER HAS NO HOPE IN HERSELF AT ALL, AND NEEDS TO FIND THAT INSPIRATION THROUGH MEETING DONE QUIXOTE, TO HAVE ANY HOPE AT ALL.

IT HAS THIS GIFT.

IT GIVES PEOPLE THE IDEA THAT YOU CAN BE SEEN BY SOMEONE ELSE AS PURE, MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN YOU KNOW YOU ARE.

AND I THINK THAT IS SUCH A MAGNIFICENT THING, AND THEY DO

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about her call to action on internet extremism, gun control and climate change. She also speaks with Kelsey Grammer and Danielle de Niese, who are both starring in “Man of La Mancha” on the London stage. Michel Martin speaks with Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen about Mueller, Trump and Putin.

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