"Summertime, and the livin' is easy …" With iconic songs that have become jazz and pop standards, Porgy and Bess (on stage from November 17-December 20) is filled with some of George Gershwin's most beloved music. See the iconic American opera in this sumptuous production that brings the colorful characters of Catfish Row to life. Eric Owens stars as Porgy, the good man with a heart of gold who would do anything for the troubled Bess (Adina Aaron). But, when tempted by a former love and her drug addiction, can she remain true to him?
Porgy and Bess also stars Jermaine Smith (Sportin' Life), Eric Greene (Crown), and Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi (Clara). The production is conducted by Ward Stare and directed by Francesca Zambello.
Click here to read the full plot synopsis, director's note, and more
in the complete Porgy and Bess program book.
Video features on the production and cast
Articles with insights from the cast and creative team
Don’t miss “the sheer theatrical pizzazz” of Porgy and Bess
Critics love Lyric's production of The Gershwins' masterpiece. This is the can't-miss production of this holiday season, an opera of both "glory and grit" (Chicago Tribune). The Chicago Classical Review raves, "Lyric Opera has plenty of something with a moving, vocally resplendent 'Porgy and Bess'." And Chicago Critic's Tom Williams says, "I can't think of a finer, more universally appealing work to introduce people to the majesty of opera." READ MORE
Behind the scenes with assistant conductor Matthew Piatt
The extraordinary Matthew Piatt is in his sixth season at Lyric in the role of assistant conductor. For Lyric's current production of Porgy and Bess he has been one of two pianists, which means he does everything from playing for rehearsals to fine-tuning diction to help with musical preparation for the show—including being able to do a little bit of singing himself! Learn more about how he and Lyric's other backstage heroes work closely with the conductor and singers to get it right for every performance. READ MORE
Chuck Coyl on putting the fight into Porgy and Bess
There's much more to Porgy and Bess than its famously beautiful and evocative music. As fight director for Lyric's revival of the all-American Gershwins' opera, Chuck Coyl ensures that explosively violent moments in the story of Catfish Row look authentic to the audience and feel authentic to the performers - while making sure that nobody gets hurt and everyone keeps singing. READ MORE
The Incomparable Eric Owens: Lyric's future Porgy and Wotan is a king onstage and off
Porgy and Bess star Eric Owens was the cover story of the Fall 2014 issue of Lyric Opera News. In this profile, he talks about preparing for Porgy and his role as a Lyric Unlimited Community Ambassador. READ MORE
Joy in Singing: Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi debuts at Lyric in Porgy and Bess
First-year Ryan Opera Center member Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi makes her Lyric debut as Clara in Porgy and Bess. The character sings what is arguably the opera's most famous aria, "Summertime."
Chorister Profile: Kenneth Nichols
Bass-baritone Kenneth Nichols has been a member of the Lyric Opera Chorus for 13 years. We caught up with Nichols this summer in between performances in the chorus of San Francisco Opera's Show Boat, (a co-production with Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Washington National Opera), to talk about his experiences as a singer and his thoughts on Lyric's upcoming production of Porgy and Bess. READ MORE
You can never get enough “Summertime”
"Summertime" has moved beyond the world of opera to become one of the most beloved songs in American music. It's been covered more than 25,000 times...and still counting! This post on our blog Lyric Lately gathered some of the most beautiful and unexpected covers of the song from artists like Miles Davis, The Doors, and Sting.
Porgy and Bess: The hits just keep on coming
Whether your first love is opera, jazz, American folk songs, or musical theater, you'll find that melodies abound this November and December when Lyric Opera produces The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. READ MORE
On the Couch: Porgy and Bess
The complicated love story of Porgy and Bess resonates down through the generations. Here’s a fictional peek inside the marriage counseling sessions of one of their great-granddaughters. READ MORE
Opera 101: One-hit wonders
Porgy and Bess was Gershwin's only opera, which puts him in the small but distinguished category of composers that only wrote one opera that became a major hit. Also on the list? Beethoven and Dvořák, among others. READ MORE
Get to know Porgy and Bess star Eric Owens
Porgy and Bess Audio Preview
Music director Sir Andrew Davis shares the synopsis and excerpts from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
. Recordings used by permission of EMI Classics.