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performance calendar
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cutting Hall,
Palatine IL
3:30pm

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL
8:00pm

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL
8:00pm

Monday, July 3, 2017

Wallace Bowl at Gillson Park,
Wilmette IL
7:30pm

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lagoon at Dawes Park,
Evanston IL
7:30pm

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Main Beach Bandshell,
Crystal Lake IL
12:30pm

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fred P. Hall Amphitheater,
Palatine IL
8:00pm

program notes > P > Porgy and Bess

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Porgy and Bess

George Gershwin/arr. James Barnes

 

This “folk” opera with music by George Gershwin was first performed in 1935. The libretto by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black beggar living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina, and his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of the stevedore Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin' Life, the drug dealer. The opera featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers—a daring artistic choice at the time. After an initially unpopular public reception, it eventually became one of the best-known and most frequently performed American operas. A film followed in 1959.

This overture features “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Summertime,” “Crab Man,” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now.”

George Gershwin (1898-1937) was a gifted writer of popular songs, musical comedies, a folk opera and other art music. Born Jacob Gershovitz in Brooklyn, New York, he left high school to work on Tin Pan Alley as a song plugger. He found early success with “Swanee.” He teamed up with his older brother Ira as lyricist and wrote over a dozen successful musical comedies. He blended jazz and popular and classical music and was widely successful. His early death resulted from a brain tumor. 

Last updated on March 17, 2015 by Palatine Concert Band