Knight grant to fund Akron Symphony opera production

Posted on: June 28, 2010

In Sunday’s (6/27) Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), Kerry Clawson writes, “A $150,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will enable the Akron Symphony Orchestra to produce a once-in-lifetime performance of the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess as the centerpiece of its 59th season, a massive show that will involve 350 actors, singers, musicians and stage crew. ‘I look at our opportunity to perform Porgy and Bess as a once-in-a-lifetimer because, first of all, I know we’re not going to get a major grant every year,’ said Music Director Christopher Wilkins. ‘It’s a chance to pull together so many elements that are already strong in the organization.’ … For Porgy, which will be performed April 16, 2011, the 200-voice volunteer gospel choir and teens in the YEPAW 365 youth leadership program’s chorus will sing the show’s spirituals from the upper balcony at E.J. Thomas Hall, creating a surround-sound experience. … The Akron Symphony, which experienced success with a Verdi and Puccini program this year and a semi-staged version of La Traviata four years ago, has now made producing semi-staged or fully staged musicals or operas annually part of its strategic plan.”

Posted June 28, 2010