The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess: Met Opera Encore


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Sat, Aug 17 12:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Met Opera Summer Encore
Release Year:2019/2020 Season
Run Time:3 hours, 7 minutes
Met Company
Conductor:David Robertson
Opera Company:Angel Blue
Golda Schultz
Latonia Moore
Denyce Graves
Frederick Ballentine
Eric Owens
Alfred Walker
Donovan Singletary
Production:James Robinson
Set Designer:Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer:Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer:Donald Holder
Choreographer:Camille A. Brown


The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the summer encore of the Met Opera’s The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess” (from the 2019-20 season) on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 12 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

The Gershwins’ modern American masterpiece has its first Met performances in almost three decades, starring bass-baritone Eric Owens and soprano Angel Blue in the title roles. Director James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row, a setting vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants.

Infused with the timeless melodies of the much-loved classics “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin,” and “My Man’s Gone Now,” the new co-production with English National Opera and Dutch National Opera was hailed as a triumph at its premiere in London earlier this year.

Catfish Row, a tenement neighborhood of Charleston, in the 1920s. Clara sings a lullaby to her baby. Porgy arrives and is about to join a craps game when Crown and Bess appear. Crown loses, starts a fight, and kills Robbins. The community shuns Bess. Only Porgy offers her protection. The next day, Serena leads the mourners at Robbins’s funeral. Later, everyone is preparing to leave for a picnic. Porgy and Bess reflect on their happiness.

On Kittiwah Island, Sportin’ Life describes his own cynical view of religion. The steamboat whistle announces that it’s time to leave. Bess hurries along until Crown calls out to her. She explains that she has a new life with Porgy, but he forces her to stay with him.

Bess has been ill since returning from Kittiwah Island. Serena leads the others in prayer, and Bess is healed. Porgy tells her that she doesn’t have to go with Crown. A hurricane approaches. Crown appears. Clara sees Jake’s boat has overturned and rushes out to save him, followed by Crown. Once the storm has passed, the community grieves for those who have been lost. Crown enters under the cover of darkness, and Porgy confronts and kills him.

The next day, detectives arrive and take Porgy to identify Crown’s body. Sportin’ Life forces some dope on Bess, and she can’t help but follow him to New York. Porgy returns, and resolves to follow her.

The 2024 Met Opera Summer Encores are generously sponsored by Chris Fladlien and Bea Hanks.