Porgy and Bess

The Gershwins'

Porgy and Bess

Upcoming Performances

Wednesday

Jan 8 at 7:30 PM

Saturday

Jan 11 at 7:30 PM

Wednesday

Jan 15 at 7:30 PM

Saturday

Jan 18 at 8 PM

Friday

Jan 24 at 7:30 PM

Tuesday

Jan 28 at 7:30 PM

Saturday

Feb 1 at 1 PM

Overview

By George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin

One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.

Porgy and Bess Special Events

The worldwide copyrights in the works of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin for this presentation are licensed by the Gershwin family.

GERSHWIN is a registered trademark of Gershwin Enterprises. Porgy and Bess is a registered trademark of Porgy and Bess Enterprises.

A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam; and English National Opera

Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund and Douglas Dockery Thomas 

Opening Night Premiere Gala — Sep 23

Languages

Languages sung in Porgy and Bess

Sung In

English

Titles

Title languages displayed for Porgy and Bess

Met Titles In

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish

Timeline

Timeline for the show, Porgy and Bess

Estimated Run Time

3 hrs 30 mins

  • House Opens

  • Act I

    105 mins

  • Intermission

    30 mins

  • Act II

    75 mins

  • Opera Ends

Porgy and Bess

World Premiere: Alvin Theatre, New York, 1935. A supremely American operatic masterpiece and the most ambitious work by one of the nation’s greatest musical talents, Porgy and Bess focuses on the joys and struggles of a black neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 20th century. The overall combination of music, word, and idea among a complex blend of Americana make this a unique and impressive work both within and beyond the operatic repertory.

Creators

George Gershwin (1898–1937) was one of America’s greatest composers—creating a diverse collection of works spanning the classical, jazz, and theatrical worlds—while his brother, Ira Gershwin (1896–1983), was one of the most prominent lyricists of American song. Novelist and poet DuBose Heyward (1885–1940) collaborated with his wife, Dorothy (1890–1961), to adapt his novel Porgy into a successful Broadway play, which later inspired the Gershwins’ opera.

PRODUCTION

James Robinson

SET DESIGNER

Michael Yeargan

COSTUME DESIGNER

Catherine Zuber

LIGHTING DESIGNER

Donald Holder

PROJECTION DESIGNER

Luke Halls

Choreographer

Camille A. Brown

Fight Director

David Leong

Written by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin

Videos

Setting

Porgy and Bess

The opera is set in slightly fictionalized versions of real places in and around Charleston, South Carolina. Catfish Row is a sea-side version of the actual Cabbage Row, a group of old mansions historically inhabited by the descendants of freed slaves.

Music

Far beyond being a compendium of classic songs, the score of Porgy and Bess maintains a level of musical unity and a rich, descriptive language that compares with the greatest operatic achievements. Much of the work’s dynamism comes from Gershwin’s explorations of the Gullah music of Tidewater Carolina, melded with his mastery of jazz and Eastern European Jewish roots to create a personal, idiomatic, brilliant, and thoroughly convincing musical canvas.

Porgy and Bess