George Gershwin: Porgy & Bess
Forum Karlín, 16 February 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Wayne Marshall - conductor
Angela Renee Simpson - soprano
Indira Mahajan - soprano
Ronald Samm - tenor
Kevin Short - bass-baritone
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Who doesn't know Summertime? When in the 1930s the extraordinarily successful composer George Gershwin wrote the opera Porgy and Bess, which includes the aforementioned popular song, it did not meet with great success or joy. The reason could have been the socially sensitive storyline and the fact that the work counted on casting classically trained black singers – revolutionary for the time.
Today it is a classic and perhaps the most performed American opera, demonstrating that a combination of jazz and European opera traditions can give rise to an exceptionally powerful and multilayered work. Today we find nothing controversial about the story of beggar Porgy's love for Bess in the slums of Charleston.
The aforementioned song Summertime has been popularised and, like other songs from the opera, has found a place among jazz standards. In the Rudolfinum's Dvořák Hall, a shortened, eighty-minute concert version of the opera will be performed. The radio symphony players will be joined by the Prague Philharmonic Choir, a quartet of excellent soloists and the most highly qualified British conductor, pianist and organist Wayne Marshall, whose domain is symphonic music straddling the boundary between classical and jazz.
Ticket prices: CZK 1 800 / 1 250 / 800 / 400 / 250 / 200