[image-1]The Metropolitan Opera’s recent production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess will be streamed live on the big screen on Sat. Feb. 1 as part of The Met: Live in HD series. You can catch it locally at three locations: the Main Library on Calhoun Street, the Terrace, and Regal Azalea Square in Summerville. Check each venue’s website for full details on ticket prices and start times.
Director James Robinson’s new take on the classic opera transports audiences to Charleston’s Catfish Row, featuring choreography from Tony Award-nominee Camille A. Brown. Eric Owens and Angel Blue star in the title roles of Porgy and Bess.
The live transmission will be hosted by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald, who took home a Tony for her 2012 portrayal of Bess.
The Charleston-based opera, composed by Gershwin and featuring a libretto by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin, was the highlight of Spoleto Festival USA 2016’s season.
That year was not the first time the opera had graced the Holy City’s stages. At least, it was not the first time the production had made it to the Gaillard, which was freshly revamped in 2016 after a three-year renovation, ready for the international arts festival’s sold-out event.
[image-2] As Kinsey Gidick wrote in 2015, Porgy and Bess was first performed at the Gaillard in 1970, the first time the venue hosted an integrated audience. Former director of marketing at Spoleto, Jennifer Scott, said: “It was a landmark production for the tricentennial celebrations in Charleston.”
Fast forward to 2016, when the city celebrated the famed opera, selling out every Spoleto performance and even offering free outdoor screenings for those who did not get tickets to the Gaillard performances.
At the time, the Gibbes Museum of Art presented Beyond Catfish Row:The Art of Porgy and Bess>; the Charleston Library Society featured Porgy: Treasures From the Vault>; and College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library displayed Porgy & Bess: A Charleston Story.
Charleston has seen shows and exhibitions come and go since that 2016 production. Porgy and Bess, though, an opera that made its Broadway debut in 1935, remains deeply rooted in the city, and you’ve got one rare opportunity to check it out on Feb. 1.
UPDATE: Due to popular demand, Porgy & Bess will be screened three more times at theaters nationwide. On Feb. 5 you can catch the screening at both Terrace Theater and Regal Azalea Square and on Feb. 8 you can see it again at Regal Azalea. Buy tickets online.