jump to navigation

Opera of the week: Porgy and Bess January 26, 2007

Posted by Jeff in English, George Gershwin, Jazz, Music, Musicals, Opera, Theater.
trackback

This is by way of an answer to Ruth’s question about a good opera to introduce young people to the form. George Gershwin’s masterpiece is, of course, the great American opera, and arguably the best opera ever written in the English language.

Until the work began to be performed in opera houses in the 1970s, this 1951 recording was the closest to a full and faithful rendition most of us had ever heard. Although I certainly agree that Porgy and Bess is an opera, it’s an opera that was written for Broadway, and for the kinds of voices featured here. Even though it’s missing almost an hour from the full opera I still enjoy this more than most of the newer full-length recordings. (If you want a complete version, I recommend the Houston Grand Opera cast.)

Produced by Goddard Lieberson, with Laurence Winters as Porgy, Camilla Williams as Bess, Inez Matthews as Serena, Warren Coleman as Crown, Avon Long as Sportin’ Life, June McMechen as Clara, Eddie Matthews as Jake, William A. Glover as Mingo and Irving Washington as Robbins, the John Rosamond Johnson Chorus and orchestra conducted by Lehman Engel.

Act I

Click here if the widget doesn’t work

Act II

Click here if the widget doesn’t work

Act III

Click here if the widget doesn’t work

Technorati tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: