Gershwin: Porgy and Bess

NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra / NDR Vokalensemble / Soloists – Hamburg International Music Festival

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This concert has already taken place! 15 | 38 | 76 | 110 | 125
Nicole Cabell
Nicole Cabell © Erika Dufour
Adrienne Danrich
Adrienne Danrich © Angela Owens
Alan Gilbert
Alan Gilbert © Peter Hundert
Chauncey Packer
Chauncey Packer

Tragic Heroes

The sun is shining, the fish are jumping and the cotton is ripe for picking – how easy life could be! However, the wistful music of »Summertime« suggests that that is merely a wishful dream. Because the world of the tragic heroes Porgy and Bess from George Gershwin’s opera of the same name is anything but easy. In the black neighbourhood of Catfish Row in Charleston, where the story is set, violence and crime are the grim reality of day-to-day life. Despite their difficult circumstances, the disabled Porgy and young Bess stick together – even as they look to an uncertain future.

»Porgy and Bess«, once described by the New York Times as an »American folk opera«, is without doubt one of the most moving music theatre works of all time. That is down to the touching story of the two protagonists and the numerous amazing melodies, many of which became hits independently of the opera – foremost among them, the unforgettable »Summertime«, possibly the most-performed jazz standard in music history. The performance under NDR chief conductor Alan Gilbert follows spectacular Music Festival productions such as György Ligeti’s »Le Grand Macabre«, and is one of the biggest highlights of the season.


NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester

NDR Vokalensemble und Gäste

Kevin Short Porgy

Adrienne Danrich Bess

Lester Lynch Crown

Chauncey Packer Sportin Life

Nicole Cabell Clara

Mary Elizabeth Williams Serena

Zolina Ngejane mezzo-soprano

Adriana Bignagni Lesca mezzo-soprano

Ernestine Stuurman soprano

Kenneth Overton Jake, Lawyer Frazier

Cameo Humes Robbins, Mingo, Peter, Crab Man

Luvo Rasemeni baritone

Kenneth Kula baritone

conductor Alan Gilbert


The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess
von George Gershwin, DuBose und Dorothy Heyward und Ira Gershwin

von George Gershwin, DuBose und Dorothy Heyward und Ira Gershwin
Concertante performance in English

Pre-Concert Talk (in German)
18:00 / Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal

Estimated end time



Hamburg International Music Festival


Opera in Concert

Promoter: HamburgMusik / NDR

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