Porgy and Bess: Musical Info & Synopsis


Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a beggar with a disability, who is living in the fictional Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina. As his life becomes entwined with Bess, a woman struggling with a troubled past and current tumultuous relationship, Porgy tries to find a way to rescue Bess from her current situation. Porgy and Bess explores themes of love, hardship, and the Black experience in the early 20th century.

Musical Information

Musical Type: Opera (1935)

Cast Size: 24+

Genre: Drama

Setting: 1930s / USA (South Carolina)

Creative Team

Music: George Gershwin

Lyrics: Ira Gershwin

LibrettoDuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward

Cast Albums

Original Broadway Cast (1940)➝

Live Cast (1953)➝

Studio Cast (1963)➝

Houston Grand Opera Cast (1976)➝

Studio Cast (1976)➝

Studio Cast (1989)➝

Nashville Symphony Cast (2006)➝

Chamber Orchestra of Europe Cast (2009)➝

Broadway Cast (2012)➝

Metropolitan Opera Cast (2020)➝


Licensing: Concord Theatricals➝

Sheet Music: Amazon➝


1930s, Based on a Book, DramaticJazzOperaticPopular, Summer

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