(Excerpts from Porgy &
After two months of intense and meticulous
rehearsals, the Artists Guild International presented their second
major production “Summertime”
on October 18-19, 2002 at The Dundas Center for the Performing Arts.
In October 2001, AGI produced “Phantom of the
Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which was a resounding success. For their second production, they selected
excerpts from the popular American folk opera “Porgy & Bess” by
George Gershwin. This opera is known for its beautiful melodies, rhythmic
complexities and strong jazz influence.
The cast of powerful operatic voices, conducted by
Antoine C. Wallace, included Joann Deveaux-Callender, soprano
and William Rahming, baritone who played the principal roles of Porgy
& Bess with great conviction and passion. Other performers included Ken
Strachan, Nikita Thompson-Wells, Candace Bostwick, Lillian A. Bastian, Allan
Butler, Dwight Dorsett, Harrison Lockhart and Ricardo Knowles. The
performers displayed energy, musicality and personified the character and
essence of their roles. Particular mention is made of Mr. Dwight Dorsett
who delighted and entertained the audience with his moving, emotional and
humorous solo “It ain’t necessarily so”. “The Allegro Singers”
supported the soloists with equal passion, adding to the “folk and jazz”
influence required by this opera. Despite the difficulties confronted by such
a large, popular, rhythmically demanding and intense work, the performers
were prepared and technically secure, but yet approached Gershwin’s
masterpiece with great respect.
musicians gave an astounding rendition of this rhythmic
and complex music. Geoffrey Sturrup, who played the keyboards for both
performances, skillfully arranged the music. Kendrick F. Coleby,
president of AGI along with Lee Callender accompanied on the piano;
while each shone individually, both exhibited their unequivocal musical
talent and versatility. Other seasoned musicians included, Jan
Fisher-Bachman, on violin, whose addition could only be described as
magical, Douglas Turnquest on drums, and on trumpet: Lou Adams
and Dennis Sturrup.
This production “Summertime”, which was
conceived and organized by Kendrick F. Coleby, was AGI’s final production for
the year 2002 and AGI is to be congratulated for attempting to produce an
opera of this magnitude and difficulty with limited financial support and
resources. This was certainly a performance to be remembered and this group
of talented performers ought to be commended for an exceptional performance
and an amazing accomplishment! Now in its fourth year of existence, the
Artists Guild International is true to its mission, and once again
demonstrated its ability to “Produce Quality Musical Events”, “Provide
Performance Opportunities for Musicians” and “Provide Financial Assistance”
to music and civic organizations. Part proceeds from this production will go
to the Bahamas Red Cross Society.
Visit their web site at: http://artistsguildintl.tripod.com
to learn more about AGI.