Porgy and Bess

Opera

Writers: George Gershwin DuBose Heyward Ira Gershwin

Context

Porgy and Bess is based on Porgy, a 1927 play by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. The play was adapted from DuBose’s novel of the same name, which was inspired by a news story. After reading Porgy in 1926, George Gershwin proposed a collaboration with Heyward to create an operatic version of the story. The pair began work on the opera in 1934, beginning with a visit to the story’s backdrop and Heyward’s birthplace ― Charleston, South Carolina. Gershwin composed both in South Carolina and New York City, for he wanted to incorporate the region’s feeling and music. Gershwin was adamant that he wanted

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