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Francesca Zambello’s production for San Francisco is drenched in detail and fine to look at. Catfish Row springs to life in all its tawdry glory. The opening number, ‘Summertime’, is sung with a rich and confident soprano by Angel Blue, but it lacks the melting quality one hopes for. This turns out to be a harbinger for the performance to come as everyone has a fine voice and unleashes it with gusto – I felt quite shouted by the curtain call. Lester Lynch makes a dangerous Crown and Laquita Mitchell a multi-faceted Bess. She has the measure of the role, but the top of her voice is unalluring. Chauncey Packer is a lithe Sportin’ Life, oozing dangerous charm. At the heart of the work is Eric Owen’s Porgy, thankfully a subtle and superbly vocalised assumption. He alone isn’t afraid to use a range of dynamic and colour. John DeMain’s conducting seems idiomatic but the recording favours the voices. The choral work is superb.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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