Chorus

Porgy & Bess - opera archive

2019

Synopsis

Porgy, a disabled beggar on the streets of Charleston, attempts to rescue Bess from the grip of Crown, her violent lover and from Sportin’ Life, her drug dealer. Will Porgy’s love be enough to conquer Bess’s demons? The odds are stacked against him, but that won’t stop the noble Porgy from trying.

Composer: George Gerswhin. His younger brother Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics.

Libretto: By Edwin DuBose Heyward based on the play Porgy.

First performed: Boston, September 30 1935. The first British performance was at Glyndebourne in 1986, produced by Sir Trevor Nunn.

Sung in English with some subtitles

With the BBC concert orchestra

Did you know?

The Gershwins stipulated that all performances of Porgy and Bess must be performed by a black cast. Our production was true to this wish.

The song Summertime has at least 25,000 versions, making it one of the world’s most covered songs.

Creatives

Conductor: Stephen Barlow
Director: Jean-Pierre van der Spuy
Choreographer: Lizzie Gee
Designer: Francis O’Connor
Lighting Designer: David Plater

Cast

Porgy: Musa Ngqungwana
Bess: Laquita Mitchell
Serena: Sarah-Jane Lewis
Clara: Francesca Chiejina
Crown: Donovan Singletary
Sporting Life: Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi
Jake: Robert Winslade-Anderson

Backstage

Backstage

Backstage

We went behind the scenes with the cast of Porgy & Bess.

HEAD BACKSTAGE

Beverley Wong

Porgy & Bev

Porgy & Bev

Beverley Wong joined the chorus following an ITV news appeal for singers.

Find out more

Reviews

In review

In review

Read the critics’ reviews of Porgy & Bess

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Production gallery