Operavore Special: Gershwin's Porgy and Bess

Tonight at 8 pm: A Classic Recording on Our All-Opera Web Stream

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's been an interesting ride for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess which opens Thursday night at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway.

Stephen Sondheim grumbled about this revised version of the groundbreaking 1935 American folk opera by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward when it played Boston last year. But the sharp criticisms didn't kill a Broadway run, especially after some of the production's controversial changes (including an added "happy ending") were toned down.

If you didn't score tickets for opening night, tune in Thursday at 8 pm to our Operavore Web stream to hear Lorin Maazel's trailblazing 1976 recording of the opera. Recently remastered and available on CD on the Decca label, it uses the original, uncut score and original orchestration.

Critics have praised this recording featuring the Cleveland Orchestra since its premiere. Willard White's rich-voiced Porgy and Leona Mitchell's thoroughly operatic Bess are at the heart of the opera. The cast also includes McHenry Boatwright's frightening Crown, Francois Clemmons's agile Sporting Life, Florence Quivar's strong Serena and Barbara Hendricks' Clara.

To listen, click on "Operavore" and "Play" on the player at the top of WQXR.org.

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Comments [2]

elaine and Bret Charipper from NYC

Hello as subscribers for over 40 years we notice that the problem may be that the ushers aren't always in the concert hall itself. They may be outside the door chatting with other ushers. Pass that info to management that there should always be an usher INSIDE the hall.;at each door. This is for safety,medical issues as well as the new problem with cell phones.

Jan. 12 2012 06:00 PM
LyMartin E. Chattman from Branson

So Great to see Juilliard colleague Audra perform another Inspiring and Fascinating Role. A Class Act!

Jan. 12 2012 05:57 AM

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