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Encyclopedia > Porgy and Bess
The cast of Porgy and Bess during the Boston try-out prior to the Broadway opening.

Porgy and Bess is an opera with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Dorothy Heyward. It was based on Heyward's novel Porgy and the play of the same name that he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy. All three works deal with African American life in the fictitious Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1930s. The cast of Porgy and Bess photographed by Richard Tucker. ... The cast of Porgy and Bess photographed by Richard Tucker. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... In computing, a preview may be where output of a particular document, page, film, etc. ... The Lion King at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 2003 Broadway theatre[1] is the most prestigious form of professional theatre in the U.S., as well as the most well known to the general public and most lucrative for the performers, technicians and others involved in putting on the shows. ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Antonio Ghislanzoni, nineteenth century Italian librettist. ... DuBose Heyward (August 31, 1885 – June 16, 1940) was an American author best known for his 1924 novel Porgy. ... Ira Gershwin (6 December 1896 – 17 August 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. ... Binomial name Stenotomus chrysops (Linnaeus, 1766) The Scup or porgy, Stenotomus chrysops, is a fish which occurs primarily in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to South Carolina. ... Dorothy Heyward (1890 – November 19, 1961) was an American playwright. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Nickname: Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ...


Originally conceived by Gershwin as an "American folk opera," Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in the fall of 1935 and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers — a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. Incorporating a wealth of blues and jazz idioms into the classical art form of opera, Gershwin considered it his finest work, but it was not widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera until 1976 when the Houston Grand Opera production of his complete score (followed nine years later by its Metropolitan Opera premiere) established it as an artistic triumph. The work is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire and is regularly performed internationally. Despite this success, the opera has been controversial; some, from the outset, have considered it racist. 1. ...


"Summertime" is by far the best-known piece from the work, and countless interpretations of this and other individual numbers have also been recorded and performed. The opera is admired for Gershwin's innovative synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music idioms. Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a crippled black man living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina, and his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her pimp, and Sportin' Life, the drug dealer. Summertime is the name of an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Folk music can have a number of different meanings, including: Traditional music: The original meaning of the term folk music was synonymous with the term Traditional music, also often including World Music and Roots music; the term Traditional music was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the...

Contents

Characters

  • Porgy, a cripple (bass-baritone)
  • Bess, Crown's girl (soprano)
  • Crown, a tough stevedore (baritone)
  • Sportin' Life, a dope peddler (tenor)
  • Robbins, an inhabitant of Catfish Row (tenor)
  • Serena, Robbins' wife (soprano)
  • Jake, a fisherman (baritone)
  • Clara, Jake's wife (soprano)
  • Maria, keeper of the cook-shop (contralto)
  • Mingo (tenor)
  • Peter, the honeyman (tenor)
  • Lily, Peter's wife (soprano)
  • Frazier, a black 'lawyer' (baritone)
  • Annie (mezzo-soprano)
  • Strawberry woman (mezzo-soprano)
  • Jim, a cotton picker (baritone)
  • Undertaker (baritone)
  • Nelson (tenor)
  • Crab man (tenor)
  • Scipio, a small boy (boy soprano)
  • Mr. Archdale, a white lawyer (spoken)
  • Detective (spoken)
  • Policeman (spoken)
  • Coroner (spoken)

With the exception of the small speaking roles, all of the characters are black. A bass-baritone is a singing voice that shares certain qualities of both the baritone and the bass. ... This article is about the singing voice part. ... Stevedores on a New York dock loading barrels of corn syrup onto a barge on the Hudson River. ... Baritone (French: ; German: ; Italian: ) is most commonly the type of male voice that lies between bass and tenor. ... A tenor is a singer with a voice range from approximately C3 (one octave below middle C) to A4 (above middle C) in choral music, or to tenor C (C5, one octave above middle C) or higher in operatic music (see voice type). ... In music, an alto is a singer with a vocal range somewhere between a tenor and a soprano. ... A mezzo-soprano (meaning medium soprano in Italian) is a female singer with a range usually extending from the A below middle C to the F an eleventh above middle C. Mezzo-sopranos generally have a darker (or lower) vocal tone than sopranos, and their vocal range is between that... Treble (or Boy Soprano in slang) is a term applied in music to a young male singer with an unchanged voice in the soprano range. ...


Plot

Setting: Catfish Row, a fictitious suburb of Charleston, South Carolina in the 'recent past' (c.1930).


Act I

  • Scene 1 - Catfish Row, a summer evening.

The opera begins with a short introduction which segues into an evening in Catfish Row. Jasbo Brown entertains the community with his piano playing. Clara sings a lullaby to her baby ("Summertime") as the working men prepare for a game of craps. Clara's husband, Jake, tries his own lullaby ("A Woman is a Sometime Thing") with little effect. Porgy, a cripple and a beggar, enters on his goat cart to organize the game. Crown, a lowlife, and his woman Bess enter, and the game begins. Sportin' Life, the local supplier of "happy dust" (cocaine) and bootleg alcohol, also joins in. One by one, the players get crapped out, leaving only Robbins and Crown, who have become extremely drunk. When Robbins wins, Crown starts a fight, and eventually kills Robbins. Crown runs, telling Bess to fend for herself. The door is shut on her by most of the residents, except Porgy, who shelters her. Craps (previously known as crabs[1]) is a casino dice game. ... Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ...

  • Scene 2 - Serena's Room, the following night.

The mourners sing a spiritual to Robbins ("Gone, Gone, Gone"). To raise money for his burial, a saucer is placed on his chest for the mourners' donations ("Overflow"). A white detective enters, in a speaking voice telling Serena (Robbins' wife) that she must bury her husband soon, or his body will be given to medical students. He arrests Peter (a bystander), whom he will force to testify against Crown. Serena laments her loss in "My man's gone now." The undertaker enters, and agrees to bury Robbins as long as Serena promises to pay him back. Bess and the chorus finish the act with "Leavin' for the Promise' Lan'".

"My man's gone now" sung by Cynthia Clarey in the Glyndebourne Production

Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ...

Act II

  • Scene 1 - Catfish Row, a month later, in the morning.

Jake and the other fishermen prepare for work ("It take a long pull to get there"). Clara asks Jake not to go, and to come to a picnic, but he tells her that they desperately need the money. This causes Porgy to sing from his window about his outlook on life ("I got plenty o' nuttin'"). Sportin' Life waltzes around, selling cocaine, but soon incurs the wrath of Maria ("I hates yo' struttin' style"). A fraudulent lawyer, Frazier, arrives and farcically divorces Bess from Crown. Archdale, a white lawman, enters and informs Porgy that Peter will soon be released. The bad omen of a buzzard flies over Catfish Row, causing Porgy to sing "Buzzard keep on flyin' over".


As the rest of Catfish Row prepares for the picnic, Sportin' Life asks Bess to start a new life with him in New York; she refuses. Bess and Porgy are now left alone, and express their love for each other ("Bess, you is my woman now"). The chorus re-enters in high spirits as they prepare to leave for the picnic ("Oh, I can't sit down"). Bess leaves Porgy behind as they go off to the picnic. Porgy reprises "I got plenty o' nuttin'" in high spirits.

  • Scene 2 - Kittiwah Island, that evening.

The chorus enjoys themselves at the picnic ("I ain't got no shame doin' what I like to do!"). Sportin' Life presents the chorus his cynical views on the Bible ("It ain't necessarily so"), causing Serena to chastise them ("Shame on all you sinners!"). Crown enters to talk to Bess, and he reminds her that Porgy is "temporary." Bess wants to leave Crown forever ("Oh, what you want wid Bess?") but Crown makes her follow him into hiding in the woods.

  • Scene 3 - Catfish Row, a week later, just before dawn.

Jake leaves to go fishing with his crew, and Peter returns from prison. Bess is lying in Porgy's room, delirious. Serena prays to remove Bess's affliction ("Oh, doctor Jesus"). The Strawberry Woman and the Crab Man sing their calls on the street, and Bess soon recovers from her fever. Bess talks with Porgy about her sins ("I wants to stay here") before exclaiming "I loves you, Porgy". Porgy promises to protect her from Crown. The scene ends with the hurricane bell signaling an approaching storm.

  • Scene 4 - Serena's Room, dawn of the next day.

The residents of Catfish Row drown out the sound of the storm with prayer. A knock is heard at the door, and the chorus believes it to be Death ("Oh there's somebody knocking at the door"). Crown enters dramatically, seeking Bess. The chorus tries praying to make Crown leave, causing him to goad them with the un-Christian "A red-headed woman make a choo-choo jump its track." Clara sees Jake's boat turn over in the river, and she runs out to try and save him. Crown says that Porgy is not a real man, as he cannot go out to rescue her from the storm. Crown goes himself, and the chorus finish their prayer. Clara dies in the storm, and Bess will now care for her baby.

"There's a boat dat's leavin' soon for New York" with Damon Evans and Cynthia Haymon in the Glyndebourne Production

Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ...

Act III

  • Scene 1 - Catfish Row, the next night.

The chorus mourns Clara and Jake ("Clara, don't you be downhearted"). Crown enters to claim Bess, and a fight ensues, which ends with Porgy killing Crown. Porgy exclaims to Bess "You've got a man now. You've got Porgy!"

  • Scene 2 - Catfish Row, the next afternoon.

A detective enters and talks with Serena and Maria about the murders of Crown and Robbins. They deny knowledge of Crown's murder, causing the detective to question an apprehensive Porgy. He asks Porgy to come and identify Crown's body. Sportin' Life tells Porgy that corpses bleed in the presence of their murderers, and the detective will use this to hang Porgy. Porgy refuses to identify the body, and is arrested for contempt of court. Sportin' Life forces Bess to take cocaine, and then tells her that Porgy will be locked up for a long time. He tells her that she should start a new life with him in New York with the dazzling "There's a boat dat's leavin' soon for New York". She shuts the door on his face, but he knows that doubt at Porgy's return will make her follow him.

  • Scene 3 - Catfish Row, a week later.

Porgy returns to Catfish Row richer, after playing craps on the street with his loaded dice. He gives gifts to the residents, and does not understand why they all seem so downhearted. He sees Clara's baby is now with Serena and madly asks where Bess is. Maria and Serena tell him that Bess has run off with Sportin' Life to New York in the trio "Bess is gone." Porgy calls for his goat cart, and leaves for New York to find Bess in the closing song "Oh Lawd, I'm on my way".


Compositional history

Gershwin first expressed interest in composing the opera upon reading Heyward's Porgy in 1926, and quickly dispatched a letter to the author. Though initial meetings were promising, Gershwin was in no hurry to write the opera, and Heyward soon collaborated with Dorothy in writing a play named Porgy, which opened in 1927.


After consulting with Gershwin, Heyward sold the story rights to Porgy in the fall of 1932 to Al Jolson, who had a desire to team with Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II to create a musical on the subject with Jolson playing the lead role in blackface. Initial enthusiasm for the proposed musical soon waned, however, leaving Gershwin alone to conceive a staged version of the work. Al Jolson was a highly acclaimed American singer, comedian and actor of Jewish heritage whose career lasted from 1911 until his death in 1950. ... Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of popular music. ... For work done with Richard Rodgers, see Rodgers and Hammerstein Oscar Hammerstein II (July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was a New-York born writer, producer, and (usually uncredited) director of musicals for almost forty years. ... This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co. ...


Productions

Original Broadway cast

The first page of George Gershwin's autographed orchestral score to Porgy and Bess.

Gershwin's first version of the opera, running four hours (counting the two intermissions), was performed privately in a concert version in Carnegie Hall, in the fall of 1935. The world premiere performance took place at the Colonial Theatre in Boston on September 30, 1935 - the try-out for a work intended initially for Broadway where the opening took place at the Alvin Theater in New York City on October 10, 1935.[1] During rehearsals and in Boston, Gershwin made many cuts and refinements to shorten the running time and tighten the dramatic action. The run on Broadway lasted 124 performances. Rouben Mamoulian produced and directed and Alexander Smallens conducted. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (640x842, 78 KB) Image Information Source: [1], [2], from an online exhibition of the Library of Congress. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (640x842, 78 KB) Image Information Source: [1], [2], from an online exhibition of the Library of Congress. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... A pit orchestra is a type of orchestra that accompanies performers in musicals, operas, and other shows involving music. ... Sheet music is written representation of music. ... Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street. ... Colonial Theatre - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Neil Simon Theatre - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Rouben Mamoulian (October 8, 1897 – December 4, 1987) was an American film and theatre director. ... Alexander Smallens - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...


After the Broadway run, a tour started on January 27, 1936 in Philadelphia and travelled to Pittsburgh and Chicago before ending in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 1936. During the Washington run, the cast—as led by Todd Duncan—protested segregation among the audience. Eventually management gave in to the demands, resulting in the first integrated performance of any show at National Theatre.[2] is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ... “Pittsburgh” redirects here. ... Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The National Theatre is located in Washington, D.C. and is a venue for a variety of live stage productions with seating for 1,676. ...


This original production included:

Around 1938, the original cast reunited for a West Coast revival; the exception being that Avon Long took on the role of Sportin' Life. Long continued to reprise his role in several of the following productions. Robert Todd Duncan (1903-1998) was an American baritone. ... American soprano Anne Wiggins Brown (born 1912) created the role of Bess in George Gershwins folk opera Porgy and Bess in 1935. ... John W. Bubbles - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Warren Coleman - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Henry Davis was an Broadway actor and singer. ... Mississippi-born soprano Ruby Elzy (1908-1943) was a pioneer black opera singer who created role of Serena in George Gershwins folk opera Porgy and Bess and performed in the musical more that eight hundred times. ... Abbie Mitchell (1884—1960) was an opera singer who created the role of Clara in Gershwins Porgy and Bess Mitchell began her carreer in Musical comedy with William Marion Cooks Clorindy; or, the Origin of the Cakewalk in 1898. ... Edward Matthews was a pioneering African American opera singer. ... Helen Dowdy - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... 1933 photograph of J. Rosamond Johnson by Carl Van Vechten John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954), most often referred to as J. Rosamond Johnson, was a composer and singer during the Harlem Renaissance. ... Georgette Harvey (1882-1952) was an American singer and actress, perhaps most famous for singing the role of Maria in Porgy and Bess. ... Eva Jessye (1895–1992)—the first black woman to receive international distinction as a professional choral conductor—is a notable as a female choral conductor during the Harlem Renaissance. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... Avon Long - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...


Crawford's Broadway revival

The noted director and producer Cheryl Crawford brought Porgy and Bess back to Broadway in 1942 with an even more drastically cut version of the opera than the first Broadway staging, making it much more like the musical theater that Americans were used to hearing from Gershwin. The orchestra was reduced, the cast was halved, and many recitatives were reduced to spoken dialog.[3] The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ...


After trying out her concepts at a professional stock theater in Maplewood, New Jersey in September 1941, the show opened at the Majestic Theater on Broadway in January 1942.[4] Duncan and Brown reprised their roles as the title characters, with Alexander Smallens again conducting. Etta Moten replaced Brown as Bess in June. This production was far more successful financially. Map of Maplewood Township in Essex County Maplewood is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. ... Majestic Theater - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...


European premieres

On March 27, 1943, the opera had its European premiere at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen. This performance is also notable for the fact that it was put on by an all-white cast under the nose of the Nazi occupiers, who put an end to its run after 22 sold-out performances.[5] is the 86th day of the year (87th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Copenhagen (disambiguation). ... National Socialism redirects here. ...


Other all-white or mostly-white productions in Europe took place in Zurich in 1945 and 1950, and Copenhagen in 1946. Location within Switzerland   Zürich[?] (German pronunciation IPA: ; usually spelled Zurich in English) is the largest city in Switzerland (population: 366,145 in 2004; population of urban area: 1,091,732) and capital of the canton of Zürich. ... For other uses, see Copenhagen (disambiguation). ...

Leontyne Price as Bess

Image File history File links This is a copyrighted promotional photo with a known source. ... Image File history File links This is a copyrighted promotional photo with a known source. ...

1952 production

Blevins Davis and Robert Breen produced a revival in 1952 which restored much of the music cut in the Crawford version, including many of the recitatives, and divided the opera into two acts, with the intermission occurring after Crown forces Bess to stay on Kittiwah Island. This version restored the work to a more operatic form, and Porgy and Bess was warmly received through Europe.[6] The London premiere took place on October 9, 1952 at the Stoll Theatre, where it remained until February 10, 1953.[7] This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Stoll Theatre, built in 1911, was a London theatre that was demolished in 1958. ... is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Notable also was this production's original cast, with Leontyne Price as Bess, William Warfield as Porgy, and Cab Calloway as Sportin' Life. The small role of Ruby was played by a young Maya Angelou. Price and Warfield met and wed while on the tour. Mary Violet Leontyne Price (born February 10, 1927) is an American opera singer (soprano). ... Portrait of William Warfield by Carl Van Vechten, Feb. ... Cab Calloway, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933 Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907–November 18, 1994) was a famous American jazz singer and bandleader. ... Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Johnson April 4, 1928)[1] is an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. ...


After a small tour of Europe financed by the United States Department of State, the production came to Broadway's Ziegfeld Theatre. It went on the road again in the fall of 1954 to Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, though Price and Warfield had since left the production. This tour saw Porgy and Bess premiere at La Scala in Milan, in February of 1955. A historic yet tense premiere took place in Moscow in December 1955, the first time an American theater group had been to the Soviet capital since the Bolshevik Revolution. Author Truman Capote travelled with the cast and crew, writing an account of this event in his book The Muses Are Heard: An Account. The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... The Ziegfeld Theatre was a Broadway theatre formerly located at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City. ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, by night. ... For other uses, see Milan (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... Soviet redirects here. ... For other uses, see October Revolution (disambiguation). ... Truman Capote (pronounced ) (30 September 1924 – 25 August 1984) was an American writer whose non-fiction, stories, novels and plays are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffanys (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a non-fiction novel. ...


Houston Grand Opera's 1976 production

During the 1960s and early 1970s, Porgy and Bess mostly languished on the shelves, a victim of its perceived condescending racism in a racially-charged time. Though new productions took place in 1961 and 1964 along with a Vienna Volksoper premiere in 1965, these did little to change most Americans' opinions of the work. The Vienna Volksoper (Volksoper Wien or Vienna Peoples Opera) is a major opera house in Vienna, Austria. ...


The Houston Grand Opera production which opened on September 25, 1976 helped to turn the tide. For the first time, an American opera company had tackled the opera, not a Broadway production company. This production was based on Gershwin's original full score and did not incorporate the cuts and other changes that Gershwin himself had made before the New York premiere, but it allowed the public to take in the operatic whole as first envisioned by the composer. In this light, it became clear that Porgy and Bess was indeed an opera, not a serious piece of musical theatre. Donnie Ray Albert, Clamma Dale and Larry Marshall starred, respectively as Porgy, Bess and Sportin' Life. This production won the Houston Grand Opera a Tony Award—the only opera ever to receive one—and a Grammy Award. The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is a Houston, Texas-based opera company. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Subsequent productions

Another Broadway production was staged in 1983. After toying with the idea of staging the opera since the 1930s, the Metropolitan Opera finally did so for the first time in 1985, opening on February 6, with a starry cast including Simon Estes, Grace Bumbry, Bruce Hubbard, Gregg Baker and Florence Quivar. England's Glyndebourne Festival tackled the work in an acclaimed 1986 production directed by Trevor Nunn, which was scenically expanded and videotaped for television in 1993 (see below in "Film and television"). These productions were also based on the "complete score," without incorporating Gershwin's revisions. A semi-staged version of this production was performed at the Proms in 1998. The centennial celebration of the Gershwin brothers from 1996–1998 included a new production as well. On February 24–25, 2006, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Mauceri, gave a concert performance at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center that restored the cuts made by Gershwin himself for the New York premiere. In 2000 and 2002 there was a revival directed by Tazewell Thompson at New York City Opera. In 2007, Los Angeles Opera staged a revival directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by John DeMain, who led the history-making Houston Opera revival of Porgy and Bess in 1976. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Simon Estes (2 February 1938-) is an America bass-baritone singer. ... Grace Bumbry The American opera singer Grace Bumbry (born 4 January 1937) was one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation -- although often a controversial singer. ... Bruce Hubbard (1952-1991) was an African-American operatic baritone, whose life was unfortunately cut short by pneumonia just when he seemed to be on the verge of international stardom. ... Florence Quivar (b. ... Glyndebourne is a country house near Lewes in East Sussex, England. ... Sir Trevor King (born 14 January 1940) is a loser and film director. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... A Promenade concert in the Royal Albert Hall, 2004. ... The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is one of the up and coming symphony orchestras in the United States. ... John Mauceri, music director, producer and composer for theatre, opera and television was born in New York, 1945. ... Porgy and Bess CD cover Porgy and Bess, (2006) first recording of George Gershwins original 1935 production. ... The revamped façade of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville opened in 2003. ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza New York State Theater The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, interior, as seen from the stage The New York City Opera (NYCO) is based in Philip Johnsons New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. ... The Los Angeles Opera is a world-class opera company in Los Angeles, California. ...


Porgy and Bess: the Musical

Porgy and Bess: the Musical premiered November 9, 2006 at the Savoy Theatre (London), directed by Trevor Nunn. Nunn, had previously directed the show as an opera at the Glyndebourne Festival and as a videotaped television production with Willard White; for this production, he adapted the lengthy opera to fit the conventions of musical theatre. Working with the Gershwin estate, Nunn used dialogue from the original novel and subsequent Broadway stage play to replace the recitative with naturalistic scenes. He also did not use conventional operatic voices in this production. Gareth Valentine provided the musical adaptation. is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Savoy Theatre London, December 2003 The Savoy Theatre, which opened on 10 October 1881, was built by Richard DOyly Carte (1844 - 1901) on the site of the old Savoy Palace in London as a showcase for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, which became known as the Savoy Operas... Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ... Sir Willard Wentworth White CBE (b. ... The Fantasticks is the longest-running musical in history Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas (and occasionally in operettas and even musicals), is melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... Gareth Valentine is a British composer and musical supervisor. ...


This original cast of this version included:

  • Clarke Peters as Porgy
  • Nicola Hughes as Bess
  • O-T Fagbenle as Sportin' Life
  • Cornel S. John as Crown

Clarke Peters is an American actor. ... O-T Fagbenle also known as O-T and OT is a British actor. ...

Racial controversy

From the outset, the opera's depiction of African Americans attracted controversy. Problems with the racial aspects of the opera continue to this day. Virgil Thomson, a white American composer, stated that "Folk lore subjects recounted by an outsider are only valid as long as the folk in question is unable to speak for itself, which is certainly not true of the American Negro in 1935."[8] Duke Ellington stated "the times are here to debunk Gershwin's lampblack Negroisms."[9] Several of the members of the original cast later stated that they, too, had concerns that their characters might play into a stereotype that African Americans lived in poverty, took drugs and solved their problems with their fists. An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Virgil Thomson, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1947 Virgil Thomson (November 25, 1896 - September 30, 1989) was an American composer from Missouri, whose rural background gave a sense of place in his compositions. ... This article is about the American Jazz composer and performer. ...


A planned production by the Negro Repertory Company of Seattle in the late 1930s, part of the Federal Theater Project, had been cancelled because actors were displeased with what they viewed as a racist portrayal of aspects of African American life. The initial plan was that they would perform the play in a "Negro dialect", which these Pacific Northwest African American actors did not speak, and were supposed to learn from a dialect coach. Florence James attempted a compromise of dropping the use of dialect pronunciations, but ultimately the production was canceled outright.[10] City nickname Emerald City City bird Great Blue Heron City flower Dahlia City mottos The City of Flowers The City of Goodwill City song Seattle, the Peerless City Mayor Greg Nickels County King County Area   - Total   - Land   - Water   - % water 369. ... Scene from Orson Welles Voodoo Macbeth The Federal Theatre Project (FTP) was a project to fund theater performances in the United States during the Great Depression. ... Racism is a belief or concept that inherent differences between people, in particular those upon which the concept of race is based, determine cultural or individual achievement, and may involve the idea that ones self-identified race or ethnic group or others race or ethnic group is superior. ... Negro is a racial term applied to black people. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... The Pacific Northwest from space This page is about the region that includes parts of Canada and the United States. ...


Another production of Porgy and Bess, this time at the University of Minnesota in 1939, ran into similar troubles. According to Barbara Cyrus, one of the few black students at the university at the time, members of the local African American community saw the play as "detrimental to the race" and as a vehicle that promoted racist stereotypes. The play was eventually cancelled due to pressure from the African American community, which saw their success as proof of the increasing political power of blacks in the Twin Cities.[11] Washington Avenue Bridge at night The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, almost always abbreviated U of M, and sometimes referred to as The U by locals, is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system. ... In modern usage, a stereotype is a simplified mental picture of an individual or group of people who share a certain characteristic (or stereotypical) qualities. ... A map of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. ...


This belief that Porgy and Bess was racist gained strength with the American Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. In fact, as these movements advanced, Porgy and Bess was seen as more and more out of place. When the play was revived in the 1960s, social critic and African American educator Harold Cruse called it, "The most incongruous, contradictory cultural symbol ever created in the Western World."[12] Author John Hope Franklin did not totally agree with this view, stating in his introduction to Three Negro Classics "Sportin' Life clowns but not for white audiences. Porgy's clowning is a deliberate frustration of white power. Porgy also plays Uncle Tom, but he is never servile and lives for no white master."[13] The civil rights movement in the United States has been a long, primarily nonviolent struggle to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans. ... Tommie Smith (gold medal) and John Carlos (bronze medal) famously performed the Black Power salute on the 200 m winners podium at the 1968 Olympics. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... ... John H. Franklin John Hope Franklin (born January 2, 1915) is a United States historian and past president of the American Historical Association. ... Uncle Tom is a pejorative for an African American who is perceived by others as behaving in a subservient manner to White American authority figures, or as seeking ingratiation with them by way of unnecessary accommodation. ...


Gershwin’s all-black opera was also unpopular with some celebrated black artists. Harry Belafonte declined to play Porgy in the late 1950s film version, so it was offered to Sidney Poitier who regretted his choice ever after. Betty Allen, president of the Harlem School of the Arts, admittedly loathed the piece and Grace Bumbry, who excelled in the 1985 Metropolitan Opera production as Bess, made the often cited statement: "I thought it beneath me, I felt I had worked far too hard, that we had come far too far to have to retrogress to 1935. My way of dealing with it was to see that it was really a piece of Americana, of American history, whether we liked it or not. Whether I sing it or not, it was still going to be there." [2] Harold George Belafonte, Jr. ... Sir Sidney Poitier KBE, (IPA pronunciation: ) (born February 20, 1927), is an Academy Award-winning Bahamian American actor, film director, and activist. ... The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) is a school in Harlem, New York. ... Grace Bumbry The American opera singer Grace Bumbry (born 4 January 1937) was one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation -- although often a controversial singer. ... A diner, a style of restaurant that notably began in the United States. ...


Over time, however, the opera gained acceptance from the opera community and some (though not all[14]) in the African American community. Maurice Press stated in 2004 that "Porgy and Bess belongs as much to the black singer-actors who bring it to life as it does to the Heywards and the Gershwins."[15] Indeed, Ira Gershwin stipulated that only blacks be allowed to play the lead roles when the opera was performed in the United States, launching the careers of several prominent opera singers.


During the era of apartheid in South Africa, several South African theatre companies planned to put on all-white productions of Porgy and Bess. Ira Gershwin, as heir to his brother, consistently refused to permit these productions to be staged. A segregated beach in South Africa, 1982. ... Ira Gershwin (6 December 1896 – 17 August 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. ...


Musical elements

In the summer of 1934, George Gershwin worked on the opera in Charleston, South Carolina. He drew inspiration from the James Island Gullah community, which he felt had preserved some African musical traditions. This research added to the authenticity of his work.[16] Nickname: Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The music itself reflects his New York jazz roots, but also draws on southern black traditions. Gershwin modeled the pieces after each type of folk song that the composer knew about; jubilees, blues, praying songs, street cries, work songs, and spirituals are blended with traditional arias and recitatives.[17] Folk music, in the original sense of the term, is music by and of the people. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... An aria (Italian for air; plural: arie or arias in common usage) in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas (and occasionally in operettas and even musicals), is melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ...


In addition to being influenced by New York jazz and southern black music, many biographers and contemporaries have noted that for many numbers Gershwin borrowed melodies from Jewish liturgical music. Gershwin biographer Edward Jablonsky has claimed that the melody to "It Ain't Necessarily So" was taken from the Haftarah blessing,[18] and others have attributed it to the Torah blessing.[19] Allusions to Jewish music have been detected by other observers as well. One musicologist detected 'an uncanny resemblance' between the folk tune Havenu Shalom Aleichem and the spiritual It Take a Long Pull to Get There.[20] Jewish music, the music of Jews, is quite diverse and dates back thousands of years. ... This article needs cleanup. ... The haftarah (haftara, haphtara, haphtarah, Hebrew הפטרה‎; plural haftarot, haftaros, haphtarot, haphtaros) is a text selected from the books of Neviim (The Prophets) that is read publicly in the synagogue after the reading of the Torah on each Sabbath, as well as on Jewish festivals and fast days. ... The Jewish ritual of Torah reading (in Hebrew: קריאת התורה, Kriat HaTorah; Reading [of] the Torah) involves the public reading of a set of passages from a Torah scroll. ...


Use of leitmotif

The score makes use of leitmotifs, which are introduced to establish each character with a unique musical theme. The score then intertwines these themes to show conflict between characters. The best example of this is after the aria "There's a boat dat's leaving soon for New York" in Act III Scene ii. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Bess' idea of Porgy is expressed by snippets their duet "Bess, you is my woman now," in which they pledge their fidelity to one another:
(Listen) The duet, by Hendrik ter Brugghen A duet is a musical composition or piece for two performers, most often used for a vocal or piano duet. ... Image:PorgyAndBess Extract 2. ...


Her idea of Sportin' Life is shown through snippets of his aria "There's a boat that's leavin' soon for New York" in which the drug peddler tries to persuade Bess to leave Catfish Row with him:
(Listen) An aria (Italian for air; plural: arie or arias in common usage) in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. ... Image:PorgyAndBess Extract 1. ...


Bess's difficult decision to follow him is represented by a conflict of these two melodies. The first is heard in a sparse and distant orchestration:
(Listen) Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium. ... Image:PorgyAndBess Extract 3. ...


Sportin' Life is sure that Bess will follow him, and the quiet cocaine motif is heard. Then his own song is heard in a dazzling, overblown orchestration, complete with swaggering rhythms:
(Listen) Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (819x249, 21 KB)(( Obtained from the vocal score, for full record of book, goto [1])) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...


This contrast represents Sportin' Life's successful corruption of Bess's love for Porgy.


Recordings

The cover of the Glyndebourne album
Main article: Porgy and Bess discography

Image File history File links This image is the cover of an album or single. ... Porgy and Bess, the opera by George Gershwin, has been recorded by a variety of artists since it was completed in 1935, including renditions by jazz instrumentalists and scat singers, in addition to operatic treatments. ...

Excerpts

Days after the Broadway premiere of Porgy and Bess with an all-black cast, two white opera singers, Lawrence Tibbett and Helen Jepson, both members of the Metropolitan Opera, recorded highlights of the opera in a New York sound studio, released as Highlights from Porgy and Bess. Members of the original cast were not recorded until 1940, when Todd Duncan and Anne Brown recorded selections of the work. Two years later, when the first Broadway revival occurred, Decca rushed other members of the cast into the recording studio to record other selections not recorded in 1940. These two records were marketed as a two volume 78 rpm set "Selections from George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess". After LP's had begun to be manufactured in 1948, the recording was transferred to LP, and subsequently, to CD. Lawrence Mervil Tibbett (November 16, 1896 - July 15, 1960) was an American actor and singer. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... Highlights from Porgy and Bess - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ... Robert Todd Duncan (1903-1998) was an American baritone. ... American soprano Anne Wiggins Brown (born 1912) created the role of Bess in George Gershwins folk opera Porgy and Bess in 1935. ... It has been suggested that Decca Music Group be merged into this article or section. ... Decca Presents Selections from George Gershwins folk opera Porgy and Bess, consists of two volumes of records, the first from 1940 and the next from 1942. ...


Although there was an initial feeling by members of the jazz community that a Jewish piano player and a white novelist could not adequately convey the plight of blacks in a 1930s Charleston ghetto, jazz musicians warmed up to the opera after twenty years. Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald recorded an album in 1957 in which they sang and scatted Gershwin's tunes. The next year, Miles Davis recorded a seminal interpretation of the opera arranged for big band. Louis[1] Armstrong[2] (4 August 1901[3] – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo[4] and Pops, was an American jazz musician. ... Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as Lady Ella and the First Lady of Song, is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th Century. ... Jazz vocalists Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald collaborated on this recording of selections from George Gershwins Porgy and Bess. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Porgy and Bess is a 1958 album by jazz musician Miles Davis which he and Gil Evans arranged from George Gershwins opera Porgy and Bess. ... A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with playing jazz music and which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. ...


In 1959, Columbia Masterworks Records released a soundtrack album of Samuel Goldwyn's film version of "Porgy and Bess", which had been made that year. It was not a complete version of the opera, nor was it even a complete version of the film soundtrack, which featured more music than could be contained on a single LP. The album remained in print until the early 1970s, when it was withdrawn from stores at the request of the Gershwin estate. It is the first stereo album of music from "Porgy and Bess" with an all-black cast. Sammy Davis, Jr., however, was under contract to another recording company, and his vocal tracks could not be used on the album. Cab Calloway substituted for Davis on the soundtrack album. Robert McFerrin was the singing voice of Porgy, and Adele Addison the singing voice of Bess. The white singer Loulie Jean Norman was the singing voice of Clara (portrayed onscreen by Diahann Carroll), and Inez Matthews the singing voice of Serena (portrayed onscreen by Ruth Attaway). Columbia Masterworks Records is a subsidiary of Columbia Records. ... This article is about the entertainer. ... Cab Calloway, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933 Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907–November 18, 1994) was a famous American jazz singer and bandleader. ... Robert McFerrin Sr. ... Categories: Musician stubs | 1925 births | Sopranos ... Loulie Jean Norman, (born in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 12, 1913; died August 2, 2005 in Los Angeles) is a famous soprano who worked with famed arranger Gordon Jenkins. ... Diahann Carroll, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955 Diahann Carroll (born July 17, 1935) is an American actress and singer. ...


In 1963, Leontyne Price and William Warfield, who had starred in the 1952 world tour of "Porgy and Bess", recorded their own album of excerpts from the opera for RCA Victor. None of the other singers from that production appeared on that album, but John W. Bubbles, the original Sportin' Life, substituted for Cab Calloway (who had played Sportin' Life onstage in the 1952 production). The 1963 recording of "Porgy and Bess" excerpts remains the only official recording of the score on which Bubbles sings Sportin' Life's two big numbers. Mary Violet Leontyne Price (born February 10, 1927) is an American opera singer (soprano). ... Portrait of William Warfield by Carl Van Vechten, Feb. ... Sony BMG Music Entertainment is the result of a 50/50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment (part of Sony) and BMG Entertainment (part of Bertelsmann AG) completed in August 2004. ... John W. Bubbles - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...


Complete recordings

In 1951, Columbia Masterworks recorded a 3-LP album of what was then the standard performing version of "Porgy and Bess" - the most complete recording made of the opera up to that time. It was billed as a "complete" version, but was complete only insofar as that was the way the work was usually performed then. (Actually, nearly an hour was cut from the opera.) This album featured more of Gershwin's original recitatives and orchestrations than had ever been heard before on records. It was produced by Goddard Lieberson, who was then committed to putting on LP shows that had not been recorded in that medium. The recording was conducted by Lehman Engel, and starred Lawrence Winters and Camilla Williams, both from the New York City Opera. Several singers who had been associated with the original 1935 production and the 1942 revival of "Porgy and Bess" were finally given a chance to record their roles more or less complete. The album was highly acclaimed as a giant step in recorded opera in its time, and was re-released at budget price on the Odyssey label in the early 1970s. It has subsequently appeared on CD on Sony's Masterworks Heritage CD series, and on the Naxos label as well. The album is not sung in as directly "operatic" a style as later versions, treading a fine line between opera and musical theatre. Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... Goddard Lieberson (April 5, 1911-May 29, 1977) was president of Columbia Records from 1956-71 & 1973-75. ... Lawrence Winters (1915–1965), baritone, was an African American opera singer during the 1940s. ... The first African American to sing with the New York City Opera was Camilla Williams (b. ... The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza New York State Theater The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, interior, as seen from the stage The New York City Opera (NYCO) is based in Philip Johnsons New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. ...


The first complete recording of the opera based on Gershwin's original score, restoring the material cut by Gershwin during rehearsals for the New York premiere in 1935, was made by the Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel in 1976, in time for the U.S. Bicentennial. It starred Willard White singing his first Porgy, and Leona Mitchell as Bess. The recording was praised by critics for its performance quality and racial significance, but at the same time was highly criticized by some for not bringing out the "jazzier" qualities of the score. A subsequent complete recording of the opera by the Houston Grand Opera in 1977 and the Glyndebourne album in 1989 are also based on the complete original score, without Gershwin's cuts. Both the 1976 and 1977 recordings of the opera won Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording, making Porgy and Bess one of the few (if not the only) operas to win a Grammy over two consecutive years. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the major symphony orchestras in the United States. ... Lorin Varencove Maazel (born March 6, 1930) is a conductor, violinist and composer. ... Leona Mitchell (b. ... The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is a Houston, Texas-based opera company. ... Porgy and Bess is a recording of the Glyndebourne Opera Festival version of the George Gershwin opera of the same name. ... The Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording has been awarded since 1961. ...


The latest (2006) recording of the opera made by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra under John Mauceri in 2006 is the first to observe Gershwin's cuts and thus present the opera as it was heard in New York in 1935. Porgy and Bess CD cover Porgy and Bess, (2006) first recording of George Gershwins original 1935 production. ... The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is one of the up and coming symphony orchestras in the United States. ... John Mauceri, music director, producer and composer for theatre, opera and television was born in New York, 1945. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Adaptations

Film and television

A 1959 film version was produced in 70 mm Todd-AO by Samuel Goldwyn, but plagued with problems. Rouben Mamoulian, who had directed the 1935 Broadway premiere, was hired to direct the film, but was subsequently fired in favor of director Otto Preminger for daring to suggest that the film be made on location in South Carolina after a fire on the sound stage destroyed the film's sets. Goldwyn, who never liked making films on location, considered Mamoulian's request a sign of disloyalty. Robert McFerrin dubbed the songs for Sidney Poitier's Porgy and Adele Addison for Dorothy Dandridge's Bess. Ruth Attaway's Serena, Sammy Davis, Jr.'s Sportin' Life and Diahann Carroll's Clara were also overdubbed. Although Dandridge, Davis and Carroll were all singers, the women's voices were not considered operatic enough while Davis could not compete with Cab Calloway's renditions of the songs.. The Gershwin estate was disappointed with the film, as the score was edited to make it more like a musical. Much of the music was omitted from the film, and many of Gershwin's orchestrations were either changed or completely scrapped. It was shown on network television in the U.S. only once, in 1967. It was pulled from release in 1974, and prints can now only be seen in film archives or on bootleg videos. Image File history File links This is a copyrighted poster. ... Porgy and Bess is a 1959 movie based on George Gershwins opera of the same name. ... Todd-AO was a widescreen film format developed in the mid 1950s. ... Samuel Goldwyn (July 1882 (some sources say 17 August 1882, others 1879 [1]) – 31 January 1974) was an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning producer, also a well-known Hollywood motion picture producer and founding contributor of several motion picture studios. ... Otto Ludwig Preminger (December 5, 1906 – April 23, 1986) was a film director. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude... Robert McFerrin Sr. ... Sir Sidney Poitier KBE, (IPA pronunciation: ) (born February 20, 1927), is an Academy Award-winning Bahamian American actor, film director, and activist. ... Categories: Musician stubs | 1925 births | Sopranos ... Dorothy Jean Dandridge (November 9, 1922–September 8, 1965) was an American actress. ... This article is about the entertainer. ... Diahann Carroll, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955 Diahann Carroll (born July 17, 1935) is an American actress and singer. ... Cab Calloway, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933 Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907–November 18, 1994) was a famous American jazz singer and bandleader. ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... A television network is a distribution network for television content whereby a central operation provides programming for many television stations. ...


In 1993, the Glyndebourne Festival stage production of "Porgy and Bess" was greatly expanded scenically and videotaped in a television studio. It was telecast by the BBC in England and by PBS in the United States. It was directed by Trevor Nunn and featured a cast of American singers, with the exception of Willard White, who is Jamaican but sounded American, as Porgy. Cynthia Haymon sang the role of Bess. Nunn's "opening up" of the stage production was considered highly imaginative, his cast both sang and acted well, and the three hour production retained nearly all of Gershwin's music, heard in the original 1935 orchestrations - including the opera's sung recitatives, which had occasionally been turned into spoken dialogue in earlier productions. The 1993 "Porgy and Bess" was subsequently released on VHS and DVD, and is, so far, the only version of the opera to appear in those formats. It has won far greater acclaim than the 1959 film, which was widely panned by most critics for allegedly not being entirely faithful to Gershwin's opera, for refining the language grammatically, and for being staged in what they called an "overblown" manner. It was nominated for four Emmy Awards, and won for its art direction. Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC) and launched... Size comparison: A 12 cm Sony DVD+RW and a 19 cm Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. ... An Emmy Award. ... The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. ...


In 2002, the New York City Opera telecast its new version of the Houston Opera production, from the stage of Lincoln Center. This version featured far more cuts than the previous telecast, but, like all stage versions produced since 1976, used the sung recitatives and Gershwin's orchestrations. The telecast also included interviews with director Tazewell Thompson and was hosted by Beverly Sills. The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza New York State Theater The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, interior, as seen from the stage The New York City Opera (NYCO) is based in Philip Johnsons New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. ... The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007), born Belle Miriam Silverman, was perhaps the best-known American opera singer in the 1960s and 1970s. ...


In 2006 the opera was presented as a musical in an adaptation by Trevor Nunn, who also directed and Gareth Valentine (Musical Supervisor). Called "The Gershwin's Porgy And Bess", it was staged at the Savoy Theatre, London to critical acclaim, but disappointing box office.


While not an adaptation, Sesame Street parodied the song "A Woman is a Sometime Thing" in season 36 of the show. Hoots the Owl sang to Cookie Monster about how "A Cookie is a Sometimes Food". Sesame Street is an American educational childrens television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. ... Hoots the Owl is a character on the childrens television program, Sesame Street, performed by Kevin Clash. ... Cookie Monster (right) and his mother in a season 33 Letter of the Day segment, 2002. ...


The 1985 movie White Nights featured a scene in which Gregory Hines performed There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York as Sportin' Life. Hines' rendition, before a Siberian audience, included a tap dancing sequence. Director Taylor Hackford pointed out in a special edition DVD release of the film that it was necessary to locate a Russian "woman of color" (Helene Denbey) to portray Bess, as per Gershwin's stipulations. White Nights is a 1985 movie starring Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. ... Gregory Hines (February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003) was a Tony Award-winning American actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer. ... “Siberian” redirects here. ... Man tap dancing Tap dance was born in the United States during the nineteenth century, and today is popular all around the world. ... Taylor Hackford (born December 31, 1944 in Santa Barbara, California) is an American film director. ...


Suites

Gershwin prepared an orchestral suite containing music from the opera after Porgy and Bess closed early on Broadway. Though originally titled "Suite from Porgy and Bess", Ira later renamed it "Catfish Row". Catfish Row, originally entitled A Suite from Porgy and Bess, is an orchestra work by George Gershwin based upon music from his opera Porgy and Bess. ...


In 1942 Robert Russell Bennett arranged a medley (rather than a suite) for orchestra which has often been heard in the concert hall, known as Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture. It is based on Gershwin's original scoring, though for a slightly different instrumentation (the piano was removed from the orchestral texture at the request of the conductor Fritz Reiner, for whom the arrangement was made). Morton Gould also arranged an orchestral suite in the 1950s. Morton Gould (December 10, 1913 – February 21, 1996) was an American pianist and composer. ...


Songs

Porgy and Bess contains many songs that have become popular in their own right, becoming standards in jazz and blues in addition to their original operatic setting.


Some of the more popular songs include:

  • "Summertime", Act I Scene 1
  • "A Woman is a Sometime Thing", Act I Scene 1
  • "My Man's Gone Now", Act I Scene 2
  • "It Take a Long Pull to Get There", Act II Scene 1
  • "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'", Act II Scene 1
  • "Buzzard Keep on Flyin'", Act II Scene 1
  • "Bess, You Is My Woman Now", Act II Scene 1
  • "Oh, I Can't Sit Down," Act II Scene 1
  • "It Ain't Necessarily So", Act II Scene 2
  • "What you want wid Bess", Act II Scene 2
  • "Oh, Doctor Jesus", Act II Scene 3
  • "I Loves You, Porgy", Act II Scene 3
  • "A Red-Haired Woman", Act II Scene 4
  • "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York", Act III Scene 2
  • "Bess, O Where's My Bess?", Act III Scene 3
  • "O Lawd, I'm On My Way", Act III Scene 3

Some of the more celebrated renditions of these songs include Sarah Vaughan's "It Ain't Necessarily So" and the versions of "Summertime" recorded by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. Frank Sinatra also recorded "Summertime". Janis Joplin recorded a Blues rock version of "Summertime" with Big Brother & The Holding Company. Sublime recorded a (radically reworked) version, as well. Billy Stewart's version became a Top 10 Pop and R&B hit in 1966 for Chess Records. Summertime is the name of an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. ... It Aint Necessarily So is a popular song. ... I Loves You Porgy is a song from the musical Porgy and Bess. ... Sarah Lois Vaughan (nicknamed Sassy and The Divine One), (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, described as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century [1]. // Sarah Vaughan was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1924. ... Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), born Eleanora Fagan and later called Lady Day was an American singer widely considered one of the greatest jazz voices of all time. ... Jazz vocalists Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald collaborated on this recording of selections from George Gershwins Porgy and Bess. ... Porgy and Bess is a 1958 album by jazz musician Miles Davis which he and Gil Evans arranged from George Gershwins opera Porgy and Bess. ... “Sinatra” redirects here. ... Janis Lyn Joplin (Born January 19, 1943- October 4, 1970 was an influential singer, songwriter, and music arranger. ... Blues-rock is a hybrid musical genre combining elements of the blues with rock and roll, with an emphasis on the electric guitar. ... Janis Joplin on the cover of her posthumously-released live album In Concert Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) was an American blues-influenced rock and soul singer and occasional songwriter with a distinctive voice. ... Sublime was an American band that originated in Long Beach, California. ... Billy Stewart (born on 24 March 1937, in Washington, DC; died on 17 January 1970) was an African-American musical artist. ... Top 40 is a radio format based on frequent repetition of songs from a constantly-updated list of the forty best-selling singles. ... For popular forms of music in general, see Popular music. ... For other uses, see Rhythm and blues (disambiguation). ... The Chess Records logo, as featured on this Memphis Slim single. ...


Nina Simone recorded several Porgy & Bess songs. She made her debut in 1959 with a version of "I Loves You, Porgy", which became a Billboard top 20 hit.[21] Other songs she recorded included "Porgy, I's Your Woman Now" [i.e. "Bess, You Is My Woman Now"], "Summertime" and "My Man's Gone Now". Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known as Nina Simone (February 21, 1933–April 21, 2003), was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. ... Billboard can refer to: Billboard magazine Billboard (advertising) Billboard antenna In 3D computer graphics, to billboard is to rotate an object so that it faces the viewer. ...


"Summertime" vies with the Beatles "Yesterday" as one of the most popular cover songs in popular music, with an estimated 2,500 different versions recorded. Even seemingly unlikely performers such as the Zombies have made recordings of it. The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 as part of their first tour of the United States, promoting their first hit single there, I Want To Hold Your Hand. ... Music sample Yesterday ( file info) Problems? See media help. ... In popular music, a cover version, or simply cover, is a new rendition (performance or recording) of a previously recorded song. ... The Zombies, formed in 1961 in St Albans, were an English rock band. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Jablonski & Stewart, 227–229
  2. ^ Porgy and Bess, the Library of Congress American Memory project, Today in History, September 2.
  3. ^ Standifer, James. "The Complicated Life of Porgy and Bess." Humanities November/December 1997. (Also accessible on NEH website)
  4. ^ Victor Book of the Opera. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968. pp. 326–328.
  5. ^ See note 3 above.
  6. ^ See note 3 above.
  7. ^ Martin, George. The Opera Companion to Twentieth Century Opera. New York: Dodd, Meade & Company, 1979. pp. 389–396
  8. ^ Thomson, Virgil in Modern Music, November-December 1935. pp. 16–17.
  9. ^ Greenberg, Rodney. George Gershwin, Phaidon Press (1998), ISBN 0-7148-3504-8 p. 196.
  10. ^ Becker, Paula. ""Negro Repertory Company" on HistoryLink.org, 10 November 2002.
  11. ^ "The Way Spaces Were Allocated: African Americans on Campus, Part II" by Tim Brady, Minnesota, November-December 2002, University of Minnesota Alumni Association.
  12. ^ See note 3 above.
  13. ^ See note 3 above.
  14. ^ "I Got Plenty O Nuttin" by the Reverend Phyllis L. Hubbell, sermon at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, given August 20, 2000.
  15. ^ Press, Maurice. "George Gershwin and African American Music. New MusicBox, 8 July 2005.
  16. ^ Ewen, David, The Home Book of 20th Century Music, Arco, 1956, p. 138
  17. ^ Standifer, James (1997)
  18. ^ Jablonski, Edward. Gershwin. New York:Doubleday, (1987). Cited in Benaroya, Adam (May 2000). "The Jewish Roots in George Gershwin’s Music". I.L. Peretz Community Jewish School. Retrieved January 2, 2005.
  19. ^ Pareles, Jon (January 29, 1997). History of a Nation in Its Song to Itself . New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2006.
  20. ^ Whitfield, Stephen J. (September 1999).
  21. ^ [1], "I Loves You, Porgy", Nina Simone version, on Billboard Chart

is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Virgil Thomson, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1947 Virgil Thomson (November 25, 1896 - September 30, 1989) was an American composer from Missouri, whose rural background gave a sense of place in his compositions. ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Brady, Tim."The Way Spaces Were Allocated: African Americans on Campus, Part II". Minnesota, November-December 2002, University of Minnesota Alumni Association.
  • Jablonski, Edward. Gershwin: A Biography. Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday & Company, 1987. ISBN 0-7924-2164-7
  • Jablonski, Edward and Lawrence D. Stewart. The Gershwin Years. Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday & Company, 1973. Second edition. ISBN 0-306-80739-4
  • Kimball, Robert and Alfred Simon. The Gershwins. New York: Atheneum, 1973. ISBN 0-689-10569-X
  • Marx, Arthur. Goldwyn: A Biography of the Man Behind the Myth, W.W. Norton, 1976, ISBN 0393074978
  • Schwartz, Charles. Gershwin: His Life and Music. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1973. ISBN 0-306-80096-9
  • Standifer, James. "The Complicated Life of Porgy and Bess." Humanities November/December 1997. (Also accessible on NEH website)
  • Southern Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition. ISBN 0-393-97141-4

Eileen Jackson Southern (born 1920 in Minneapolis - died October 13, 2002 in Port Charlotte, Florida) was an African American musicologist, reasearcher, author and teacher. ...

Further reading

  • Fisher, Burton D. Porgy and Bess (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series) Coral Gables, Florida: Opera Journeys Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-930841-19-1. Overview of the opera
  • Capote, Truman. The Muses Are Heard: An Account. New York: Random House, 1956. ISBN 0-394-43732-2 Story of the 1955 Porgy and Bess production in Moscow
  • Hamm, Charles. "The Theatre Guild Production of Porgy and Bess." Journal of the American Musicological Society, Fall, 1987, pp. 495–532.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
George Gershwin and His Opera Porgy and Bess (868 words)
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