Nunn, who directed the opera at Glyndebourne with Willard White and Cynthia Haymon in 1986, now directs Clarke Peters and Nicola Hughes in the title roles, leading a 40-strong cast that also features Cornell S John (as Crown), Dawn Hope (Serena) and OT Fagbenle (Sportin’ Life). The new £3 million musical production has a score specially adapted by Gareth Valentine.
Overnight critics were almost entirely won over by the opera’s transformation into a more accessible musical, and they admired the performances of the ensemble cast who, most felt, captured the tight-knit community. There was particularly high praise for Clarke Peters as Porgy. While most enjoyed seeing the story given a musical kick, some were less enamoured with the “plastered on” detail and “unconvincing” editing of the Gershwins’ original opera.
- by Caroline Ansdell