About the Program
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess from San Francisco Opera
was featured in the 2014 PBS Arts Fall Festival.
Premiere Date: October 17, 2014
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess debuted at San Francisco Opera in 2009 with bass-baritone Eric Owens as Porgy and soprano Laquita Mitchell as Bess. Both singers made their role debuts in this production, which tells the turbulent story of a disabled man, the headstrong woman he loves and the rural African-American community in coastal South Carolina that sustains them both.<em >Porgy and Bess is based on the play by Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, with music by George Gershwin including the celebrated standards “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess You Is My Woman Now,” and many more. The production is directed by Francesca Zambello; John DeMain conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
An American musical theatre staple in addition to an opera, Porgy and Bess first opened on Broadway in 1935 with a fully African-American cast — highly unusual for the time period. The piece became a classic in the theater canon, and has seen several significant revivals, including a recent 2012 Tony Award-winning production starring Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis.
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess from San Francisco Opera was produced by San Francisco Opera.