Porgy and Bess
LIVE IN HD
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One of America’s favorite operas takes the big screen on February 1. 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, and Alfred Walker. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to more than 2,200 theaters in more than 70 countries worldwide.
Buy tickets for Porgy and Bess live in the opera house here.
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
Languages sung in Porgy and Bess
Timeline for the show, Porgy and Bess
Estimated Run Time
3 hrs 30 mins
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.
Camille A. Brown
Written by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
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.
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.