Opera Porgy and Bess plays the Salmar Classic on Saturday, Feb. 1. (Contributed)

Salmar Classic to to screen American classic Porgy and Bess

Opera rich with well-known, timeless tunes, plays Feb. 1

Gabriele Klein

Contributor

Porgy and Bess, one of America’s favourite operas, comes to the Salmar Classic in a stylish new production by James Robinson on Saturday, Feb. 1.

The audience is transported to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion and heartbreak of its inhabitants.

This American masterpiece is the most ambitious work by one of its greatest musical talents. The story is based on the 1925 novel “Porgy” by DuBose Heyward, who with his wife Dorothy, also created a stage adaption. The original creative team was George Gershwin, his brother Ira, who wrote many of the lyrics, and the Heywards. The world premiere was at the Alvin Theatre, New York in 1935.

Porgy and Bess focuses on the joys and struggles of a black neighbourhood in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 20th century. It depicts, through music, word and idea, the story of a complex blend of Americana and is set in slightly fictionalized versions of real places. Catfish Row is a seaside version of the actual Cabbage Row, a group of old mansions historically inhabited by the descendants of freed slaves.

Read more: Cinemaphile: Motherless Brooklyn blends film noir crime drama and political commentary

Read more: ‘1917,’ ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ win Golden Globes

The score creates a convincing and unified musical canvas through Gershwin’s explorations of the Gullah music of Tidewater Carolina, melded with his mastery of jazz and his Eastern European Jewish roots. The result is personal, idiomatic and brilliant.

Gershwin’s rich but complicated masterpiece is a story that resonates in its universality – the characters could be from any background, any language. And it contains a parade of timeless tunes, from “It Ain’t Necessarily So” to the most covered popular song of all time, “Summertime.”

David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, and Alfred Walker.

Porgy and Bess starts at 9:55 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Salmar Classic. Run time is three hours and 25 minutes, including intermissions.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Opera Porgy and Bess plays the Salmar Classic on Saturday, Feb. 1. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Moose wintering in Salmon Arm should be appreciated from a distance

Deep snow driving animals into more densely inhabited valley bottoms

Shuswap men targeted in police ‘high risk’ search remain in custody

Bail hearing tentatively set for Feb. 4 in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm

Parents unhappy mould issue at Sicamous school not made public sooner

School District #83 says clean up of trouble areas will address air quality concerns

Fair pay? Revelstoke council seeks wage similar to Salmon Arm counterparts

Neighbouring mountain town pursues different path to increase remuneration

Proposed trail improvements would better connect Salmon Arm schools

Project would upgrade 350 metres of trail near middle, secondary schools

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

‘I was alone’: B.C. woman warns others after robber attempts to force her to ATM

Manj Sidhu-Gill was alone in a parking lot on Jan. 15, when a man approached dressed in all black

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

Morning Start: Chinese New Year, Year of the Metal Rat

Your morning start for Friday, Jan. 24

Trans-Canada to close at 11 a.m. for avalanche work

The highway will be closed until 2 p.m.

‘Green’ solution for excessive cannabis packaging a hit with Okanagan consumers

Tweed/Terracycle recycling program for cannabis products well-used, well-received by consumers.

Health upgrades in South Okanagan and Similkameen forecast to cost nearly $10 million

Capital projects include CT scanner, medical vacuum system, ultrasounds and more

PET OF THE WEEK: Fern needs a playing buddy

Cat at Critteraid in Summerland searching for a forever home

Most Read