I spent 2 hours or so in Milan over the weekend - to see the Scala's production of Porgy and Bess. It seems only the other day that Porgy opened at Glyndebourne to its famous, and unprecedented in the house, "standing ovation". But it was on July 5 1986.........do the math!
George Gershwin's opera is now repackaged as The Gershwins' © Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin. I am not sure that the Heyward's had more to do with the opera than Shakespeare had to do with Verdi's Falstaff though I may be wrong about that. And Ira was his brother's Da Ponte, Piave, Hoffmansthal or whatever. Like everything else in the world it seems these days its probably all about money......
Anyway this was billed as in forma semi scenica, and thus got over apparently the owners prohibition having anything other than a full black cast. The Scala chorus is of course magnificent so that was ok! And Alan Gilbert did a great job with the formidable Scala orchestra.
The production was actually more than semi staged, it was three quarters staged! And there was much to enjoy in a very long evening.My standouts in their different ways were Morris Robinson as Porgy, Tichina Vaughn as Maria, and Donovan Singletary as Jake.
It was raining as I went in, pouring when I came out, and brutal when I woke up and walked through the Piazza Duomo looking for Peck. But Peck is closed on Mondays until 3pm so I had to make do with the Rinascente food hall. All fine of course! I am now home in London!