Friday, November 5, 2010

A new Porgy and Bess: "It won’t be an opera — that's the big deal here..."

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, American Repertory Theater artistic director Diane Paulus, and Obie Award-winning composer Diedre Murray are about to give Porgy and Bess a 21st-century update. Their musical-theater reinterpretation of the opera by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward is slated to open the American Repertory Theater’s 2011-12 season next September. - The Boston Globe

“It won’t be an opera — that's the big deal here,” Ms. Paulus said in an interview. “The Gershwin estate was interested in a team that would take this amazing classical work, that people know as an opera, and turn it into a musical. They wanted to make it more fully realized in terms of characters. They were eager to have a writer bring it to the audiences of today.”

Also involved behind the scenes are the producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel. Ms. Paulus, Mr. Richards, Mr. Frankel and the Public Theater helped to bring the Public’s summer staging of HAIR to Broadway, where it became a moneymaker and won a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. - The New York Times

It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Here's a thought: Musical Theater has borrowed from Opera before: Rent (La Boheme), Aida, now Porgy and Bess - I wonder why the opposite hasn't happened? Why hasn't an Opera been fashioned from a Musical? I get that there are Musicals that straddle the fence between the genres, but I'm not remembering off the top of my head any Operas that are based on a Musical.

It's an interesting idea. Hmmmmmmm..........

1 comment:

Lili said...

I'd still like to see an opera made of "Gone with the Wind."

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