The first event of the combined Sacramento Philharmonic and Sacramento Opera was something called The Gershwin Experience, a packaged show that has already played in places like Portland, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Savannah, Long Island, etc. The orchestra was our local Philharmonic with Michael Morgan conducting. The out of town guest artists were:
David Snyder, piano, vocals and narrator
Sylvia McNair, vocals
Daniel Gardner, vocals and tap dancing
Llewellyn Sanchez-Warner, 17 year old piano virtuoso
The show included photos and films from the Gershwin family files. Gershwin died in surgery.
Michael Tilson Thomas presented Of Thee I Sing as a semi-staged orchestra concert, so I have seen this sort of thing before. It was very enjoyable. Llewellyn Sanchez-Warner played Rialto Ripples, Rhapsody in Blue and Allegro Agitato from Gershwin's Concerto in F, and he received two standing ovations.
But for the opera goers in the audience there was nothing that resembled opera. There can never be too much Gershwin.