Tuesday 12 September 2006

Cut down to size

Trevor Nunn is producing a new version of Gerswhin's Porgy and Bess with spoken dialogue and trimmed to a running time of two and a half hours (rather than the full 4 hours for the opera). Reactions seem to have been mixed, but it is an interesting concept. I have only seen Porgy and Bess once, when Trevor Nunn's Glyndebourne production was transferred to Covent Garden. As a production it could hardly be bettered, except that I kept feeling that there was just too much; that the music did not move fast enough for the plot. People talk about the opera as a work of genious, but for me it has always seemed like a group of superb songs and ensembles, in need of trimming. I await the reviews of Trevor Nunn's efforts with interest.

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