25 Oct 2006
Trouble in Catfish Row
Is it a celebration of the African-American spirit - or just a high-class minstrel show? Gary Younge on the controversy that has plagued Porgy and Bess since its creation [Guardian, 25 October 2006]
In 1955, the year that Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks refused to give up their seats to white people on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, an all-black cast took to the stage of Milan's La Scala to perform the theatre's first ever American opera, Porgy and Bess. Maya Angelou was among the cast, and wrote about the night with a characteristic lack of guile in her memoir, Singin' and Swingin' and Getting' Merry Like Christmas.