The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

Posted by steve at on 24th Aug 2019

The Metropolitan Opera

Opens September 23, 2019

The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess


Metroplitan Opera New York

One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. "If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how," raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.

Get Tickets Here

Opens 23 September 2019

Porgy and Bess Sung in English

with Title languages displayed in


Headshot of David RobertsonDavid Robertson


Performing -All Dates

Headshot of Angel BlueAngel Blue

BESS -Performing

Sep 23, 27, 30
Oct 5, 10, 16
Jan 8, 11, 15, 18, 24, 28
Feb 1

Elizabeth LlewellynBESS

Elizabeth Llewellyn


Oct 13

Headshot of Golda SchultzCLARA

Golda Schultz


Sep 23, 27, 30
Oct 5, 10
Jan 28
Feb 1

Headshot of Janai BruggerCLARA

Janai Brugger


Sep 23, 27, 30
Oct 13, 16
Jan 8, 11, 15, 18, 24

Headshot of Latonia MooreSERENA

Latonia Moore

All Dates

Headshot of Denyce GravesMARIA

Denyce Graves

All Dates

Frederick BallentineSPORTIN’ LIFE

Frederick Ballentine

All Dates

Headshot of Eric OwensPORGY

Eric Owens


Sep 23, 27, 30
Oct 5, 10, 13, 16
Jan 15, 18, 24, 28
Feb 1

Headshot of Kevin ShortPORGY

Kevin Short

Jan 8, 11

Headshot of Alfred WalkerCROWN

Alfred Walker

All Dates

Headshot of Ryan Speedo GreenJAKE

Ryan Speedo Green

Sep 23, 27, 30
Oct 5, 10, 13, 16

Donovan SingletaryJAKE

Donovan Singletary

Jan 8, 11, 15, 18, 24, 28
Feb 1

Background Porgy and Bess

Porgy and Bess is an English-language opera by the American composer George Gershwin, with a libretto written by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin. It was adapted from Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward’s play Porgy, itself an adaptation of DuBose Heyward’s 1925 novel of the same name.
Porgy and Bess was first performed in Boston on September 30, 1935, before it moved to Broadway in New York City. It featured a cast of classically trained African-American singers—a daring artistic choice at the time. After suffering from an initially unpopular public reception, a 1976 Houston Grand Opera production gained it new popularity, and it is now one of the best-known and most frequently performed operas.
Gershwin read Porgy in 1926 and proposed to Heyward to collaborate on an operatic version. In 1934, Gershwin and Heyward began work on the project by visiting the author’s native Charleston, South Carolina. In a 1935 New York Times article, Gershwin explained why he called Porgy and Bess a folk opera:
Porgy and Bess is a folk tale. Its people naturally would sing folk music. When I first began work in the music I decided against the use of original folk material because I wanted the music to be all of one piece. Therefore I wrote my own spirituals and folksongs. But they are still folk music – and therefore, being in operatic form, Porgy and Bess becomes a folk opera.
The libretto of Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black street-beggar living in the slums of Charleston. It deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin’ Life, her drug dealer. The opera plot generally follows the stage play.
In the years following Gershwin’s death, Porgy and Bess was adapted for smaller scale performances. It was adapted as a film in 1959. Some of the songs in the opera, such as "Summertime", became popular and frequently recorded songs.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the trend has been toward productions with greater fidelity to Gershwin’s original intentions. Smaller-scale productions also continue to be mounted. A complete recorded version of the score was released in 1976; since then, it has been recorded several times.

The Metropolitan Opera

Getting There

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, between West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

Public Transport

Via Subway
Take the No. 1 train to 66th Street (Lincoln Center) Station.

Via Bus
Take the M5, M7, M10, M11, M20, M66, M104 or BxM2 lines.


The Lincoln Center “park and lock” parking garage is located underneath Lincoln Center. It is open to the public 24 hours a day.

The entrances are:

  • West 65th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
  • West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
  • Amsterdam Avenue and West 63rd Street
  • Amsterdam Avenue and West 64th Street for reserved spots and for reserved ADA accessible spots


The accessible entrance and exit is on the Concourse level (Founders Hall) which provides elevator access to all seating areas. There is an accessible telephone and ladies’ rest room in Founders Hall. There are also accessible gentlemen’s and ladies’ rest rooms on the Parterre, Grand Tier, and Dress Circle levels. For information on parking in the yellow accessible section reserved through Lincoln Center parking, please call 212-721-6500. The entrance for this section is on Amsterdam Avenue and 63rd Street or Amsterdam Avenue and 64th Street.

You may purchase tickets for wheelchair accessible, removable armrest and companion seat locations at the box office, by phone (212-362-6000), online or by mail. View the seat map for the date and time of the performance you would like to attend for available locations. If you have questions or need additional assistance, please call 212-362-6000.

porgy and bess, porgy and bess met, met opera 2019, met opera 2020, opera theatregold, David Robertson, Angel Blue, Elizabeth llewllyn, Golda Schultz, Janai Brugger, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, eric owens, kevin short, alfred walker, ryan speedo green, Donovan Singletary