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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Porgy and Bess in Revival

Porgy and Bess in Revival

Chapter:
(p.609) Chapter Thirty-Three Porgy and Bess in Revival
Source:
George Gershwin
Author(s):

Howard Pollack

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0033

Less than a year after Gershwin's death, Merle Armitage launched the first revival of Porgy and Bess. However, the great Southern California flood of March 3 prevented planned visits to other cities, and the tour ended prematurely. Cheryl Crawford had better luck with her 1941 revival of the work, which reduced the opera to about a two-and-a-half-hour show. Critics widely assumed that the Crawford production owed its success to its overhaul of the work's recitatives. In 1951, Columbia Records and producer Goddard Lieberson released the first near-complete recording of the opera. The idea of presenting the work abroad under government auspices proved controversial. As the Breen–Davis production toured the continent, American and Canadian audiences and critics responded enthusiastically. By this time, Porgy and Bess had become something of a global cottage industry, with two ongoing productions, both initiated in the early 1990s.

Keywords:   Merle Armitage, Southern California flood, Cheryl Crawford, Columbia Records, Goddard Lieberson, Breen–Davis production, Porgy and Bess

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