13-23 Nov. The original version from 1935.
Milan’s world-famous Teatro alla Scala will present George Gershwin’s “American folk opera” Porgy and Bess in seven performances under the baton of New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert later this month.
This new production is in a semi-scenic version using the original score for the first time at La Scala, much of it influenced by Alan Berg's Wozzeck and the Vienna for the 1920s.
The soloists are Morris Robinson (Porgy), Kristin Lewis (Bess), Lester Lynch (Crown), Mary Elizabeth Williams (Serena) and Angel Blue (Clara). For the first time, the choir of the opera house will join the orchestra in the presentation.
The opera was first staged in Boston in 1935. However it was not until 1975 that it scored a huge success at the Houston Grand Opera even though Otto Preminger’s 1959 movie, starring Sydney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge, won many awards and nominations.
Critics have suggested that the lukewarm reception of the opera in its early years might be ascribed to the glum atmosphere of the Depression, followed by the tensions of world war two, and to the underlying racial tension in the US.
Tickets are available on the La Scala website. On Tuesday 8 November, the public is invited to a discussion of the classical folk opera with projections and commentary by leading musicologists, entrance free as long as seats are available, starting at 15.00.