By Chely Thimothee-Paul
With each step toward the stage, I had no idea what to expect. Three people had already made the comment “Can you believe it, Porgy and Bess is here!” The fact that I had no idea what they were speaking of made the suspense increase with each passing minute. So imagine my surprise when the entire cast shared something in common with me, yet the audience consisted primarily of our Caucasian counterparts.
I thought to myself “oh, this must be reeeeaaal good’. Exceptional was more like it. With each sound being it a single voice, the chorus, accompanying piano, I was immediately moved to another place.
How is this possible? I felt pain, love, sorrow, despair, fear and joy in a very short span of 15 minutes. Call me moved if you must, how unselfish and brave it is of the artists, to take their gifts and share them with the world.
In a time where African American males are being taken off this earth for no apparent reason other than their skin color, we can be sure that most had hidden gifts that the world will never know.
Young Black men and woman should not be singing in Operas. That is what the less traveled may think.
Yet some are bold enough to prove otherwise.
How sad that the world is still in such a state but in contrast, how beautiful it is that the South Florida Symphony Orchestra and Sebrina Maria’ Alphonso, brought Porgy and Bess home to inspire the many that are still too afraid to share the Gifts that the Universe has bestowed upon them. To the cast, director, musicians and supporters, I say Bravo Ladies and Gentleman…..Bravo! I cannot wait to have the full experience.
Neil Nelson and Brandi Sutton to Sing the Title Roles Tickets and Information- Southfloridasymphony.org/ (954) 522-8445
The South Florida Symphony Orchestra has announced three performances of a groundbreaking new production of the Gershwin’s great American opera Porgy and Bess. The staging will be directed by famed Broadway producer/director Richard Jay-Alexander and SFSO’s acclaimed music-director Maestra Sebrina María Alfonso will conduct the 70 piece South Florida Symphony Orchestra with set design by award-winning designer Paul Tate dePoo. The new adaption, featuring an all-star Black cast will be presented in three performances: Wednesday, January 16 at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall in Miami; Saturday, January 19 at the Tennessee Williams Theater in Key West; and concluding Wednesday, January 23 at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, with a season gala event in celebration of the SFSO’s 21st anniversary.