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Thursday, 11 October 2018
Saturday, 17 November 2018
How's this for a story. Bess is beautiful. She's also a cocaine addict and prostitute, but she's desperate to escape her fate. Porgy is a crippled beggar roaming the mean streets of Charlston, Carolina. The setting is notoriously racist and the era the 1930s. Bess' nasty husband Crown is both jealous and possessive, and regularly gets violent. Porgy does everything he can to rescue Bess, and the couple fall deeply in love. Can Porgy save Bess from her wicked old ways or will she slip back into them? Can he keep her cocaine dealer Sportin' Life at arm's length or is Bess doomed?
The remarkable plot, wholly relevant and contemporary despite the musical's age, is supported by a host of show tunes so lovely, and so popular, that you won't forget them in a hurry. In fact you'll probably recognise most of them. How about 'Summertime' – does that ring a bell? More than 80 years after its premiere, ENO is staging the show with a huge cast including forty voice chorus and full orchestra. Conductor John Wilson also makes his ENO debut, as does the the Artistic Director of Opera St Louis. The cast is led by Eric Greene as Porgy and Nicole Cabell as Bess. Nmon Ford plays Crown and Latonia Moore portrays Serena. The dazzling British soprano Nadine Benjamin plays Clara, and the tenor singer Frederick Ballentine enjoys his UK debut as the horrible Sportin' Life. If you love musicals, this is one of the finest.