by Daniel Hathaway
The Cleveland Opera (formerly Opera Circle) will conclude its season with a single performance of George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Ohio Theater in Playhouse Square on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 pm.
Adapted from Dorothy and DuBose Heyward’s 1925 novel and later play, Porgy, the piece debuted in Boston in September of 1935, then moved on to Broadway. The character of subsequent productions veered back and forth between opera and musical theater until a 1976 Houston Grand Opera version solidly re-established the work as what the composer himself called a “folk opera.”
The Cleveland performance, featuring Jonathan Stuckey as Porgy, and Karen Clark Green as Bess, will be led by Dominican-born conductor Darwin Aquino. He’s now based in St. Louis, where he works with several opera companies, a symphony orchestra, and two university orchestras. I reached him by telephone in Cleveland to chat about the Gershwins’ famous opera, which he’ll be conducting for the first time. [Read more…]