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English, Music, Opera

Porgy and Bess – George Gershwin

Porgy and Bess is an opera, first performed in 1935, with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin. It was based on DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy and subsequent play of the same title, which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward. All three works deal with African-American life in the fictitious Catfish Row (based on the area of Cabbage Row) in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1920s.

The song “Summertime” is the best-known selection from Porgy and Bess. Other popular and frequently recorded songs from the opera include “It Ain’t Necessarily So“, “Bess, You Is My Woman Now“, “I Loves You Porgy” and “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin'”. The opera is admired for Gershwin’s innovative synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk musicidioms.

Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black beggar living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina. It deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin’ Life, the drug dealer. Where the earlier novel and stage-play differ, the opera generally follows the stage-play.

Porgy & Bess es una ópera en tres actos con música de George Gershwin y libreto en inglés de Ira Gershwin y DuBose Heyward. Está basada en la novela Porgy de Heyward. La obra trata sobre el estilo de vida de los estadounidenses negros en la ficticia Calle “Catfish Row” en Charleston, Carolina del Sur a principios de la década de 1930. Cuatro canciones archiconocidas en el mundo, especialmente del jazz, salieron de esta opera:
Summertime
I love You Porgy
Bess, you is my woman now
It Ain’t Necessarily So

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