Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Performs Gershwin’s American Classic, Porgy and Bess in Concert, July 22

Program features Indira Mahajan (Bess) and Derrick Parker (Porgy) with the Heritage Signature Chorale

Originally scheduled in February but cancelled due to inclement weather, Music Director Marin Alsop will finally lead guest vocalists Indira Mahajan, Alison Buchanan, Larry Hylton, Derrick Parker, the D.C.-based Heritage Signature Chorale and the BSO on Thursday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Concert. Porgy and Bess, dubbed an American folk opera, features the popular, genre-crossing song “Summertime,” as well as other favorites “A Woman Is A Sometime Thing” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” The program will open with Gershwin’s Overture to Girl Crazy, followed by another Gershwin favorite An American in Paris.

George Gershwin’s operatic masterpiece Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway in 1935. The original cast was entirely African-American, with Eva Jessye as choral director. Such a casting decision was artistically bold for the time but nevertheless well received by audiences. Critics, however, were not convinced, citing racial issues and formal construction as inherent problems in the work. It was not until 1976, when Houston Grand Opera performed the work using Gershwin’s complete score that critics were able to accept Porgy and Bess as an American folk opera and hail it as an artistic success. With her “graceful stage presence” and “amber-tinted voice” (Charles Downey, The Washington Post), Indira Mahajan joins the BSO for the role of Bess. Mahajan and fellow vocalists, Alison Buchanan (soprano), Larry Hylton (tenor), Derrick Parker (bass-baritone), as well as the Heritage Signature Chorale will team up under the baton of Marin Alsop to bring this Gershwin classic to life.

Porgy & Bess
Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Marin Alsop, conductor
Indira Mahajan, soprano
Alison Buchanan, soprano
Larry Hylton, tenor
Derrick Parker, bass-baritone
Heritage Signature Chorale
Stanley J. Thurston, music director

Gershwin: Overture to Girl Crazy
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess in Concert

Tickets for this performance range from $19 to $55 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

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