Seattle Opera Presents Beloved American Classic Porgy and Bess, July 30-August 20

Seattle—Seattle Opera opens its 2011/12 season this summer with Porgy and Bess, the masterpiece by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin.
The opera explores the ennobling romance between a beggar and a battered woman in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early twentieth century.
Gershwin’s score features instantly recognizable hits, including “Summertime” and “It ain’t necessarily so.”
Porgy and Bess opens on Saturday, July 30, and runs for six more performances through Saturday, August 20.
“Porgy and Bess is to date the most popular and successful American opera,” says Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera.“Seattle Opera has produced it twice before, but as a part of the Houston Grand Opera tour. Now, for the first time, we are doing our own production of this great American folk opera. Our cast, conductor, and director promise to make it something unforgettable.”
Baritone Gordon Hawkins and soprano Lisa Daltirus star as Porgy and Bess at Seattle Opera.
Both have sung these roles for many other opera companies around the world, and are familiar faces at Seattle Opera.
Hawkins, who made his Seattle Opera debut in 1992 as Amonasro in Aida, has sung roles such as Verdi’s Macbeth, Rigoletto, Count di Luna in Il trovatore, and Germont in La traviata, and Donner and Gunther in Wagner’s Ring on Seattle Opera’s stage; he has sung Porgy in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, among others.
Daltirus made her Seattle Opera debut as Tosca in 2008, and has since sung Aida and Leonora in Il trovatore in Seattle; Chicago, New Orleans, London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff have heard her sing Bess.
Soprano and former Seattle Opera Young Artist Mary Elizabeth Williams, who previously made her mainstage debut alternating with Lisa Daltirus in Il trovatore, returns as Serena.
Making their Seattle Opera debuts are baritone Michael Redding as Crown, tenor Jermaine Smith as Sportin’ Life, soprano Angel Blue as Clara, bass-baritone Donovan Singletary as Jake, contralto Gwendolyn Brown as Maria, and tenor Michael Austin as Robbins.
Stage Director Chris Alexander, two-time winner of Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award, followed up his successful staging of Die Zauberflöte in May with a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, to research Porgy and Bess, an opera he is staging for the first time.
Balancing his fresh take on Gershwin’s masterpiece will be the musical leadership of John DeMain, who conducted both of Seattle Opera’s previous productions of Porgy and Bess (in 1987 and 1995), as well as L’elisir d’amore in 1997.
After making history conducting Houston Grand Opera’s 1976 production, DeMain recorded Porgy and Bess with the Houston company for RCA; the album won the Grammy Award, Tony Award, and France’s Grand Prix du Disque, and remains the standard recording of the work.
Seattle Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess is sponsored by the Kreielsheimer Endowment Fund.
Gordon Hawkins’ performances are sponsored by The James and Sherry Raisbeck Lead Singers’ Fund.
Seattle Opera’s 2011/12 Season is sponsored by Microsoft.

Porgy and Bess premieres Saturday, July 30, and runs through Saturday, August 20.
Single tickets start at $25 and are available online at, by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619, or by mobile phone at

Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Further information on the 2011/12 season and full biographies of the cast members can be found at

Press Contact:
Jonathan Dean

Tamara Vallejos

Visuals Contact:
Monte Jacobson


Porgy and Bess

By George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
In English with English Captions

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington
7 Performances: July 30, August 3, 6, 10, 12, 14m, and 20*, 2011
Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, including one intermission
Opening night performance begins at 6:30 p.m., with all other evening performances at 7:30 p.m.; matinee begins at 2:00 p.m.

Single ticket prices start at $25
Groups Save 15%: 206.676.5588
Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676/800.426.1619
Online orders:

Premiere: Alvin Theater, New York City, October 10, 1935
Previous Seattle Opera Presentations: 1987, 1995


Porgy: Gordon Hawkins
Bess: Lisa Daltirus
Crown: Michael Redding†
Sportin’ Life: Jermaine Smith†
Clara: Angel Blue†
Jake: Donovan Singletary†
Serena: Mary Elizabeth Williams
Maria: Gwendolyn Brown†
Robbins: Michael Austin†

Conductor: John DeMain
Stage Director: Chris Alexander
Set Designer: Michael Scott†
Costume Designer: Christina Giannini†
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Kabby Mitchell III†
English Captions: Jonathan Dean

Sets and Costumes: New York Harlem Theatre

† Company debut
* Tickets for the August 20 performance go on sale July 18.

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a former Seattle Opera Young Artist.

About Seattle Opera

Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States.
The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon. Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and 50 states.


Nefeli, il nuovo Cd di canzoni folk internazionali alternate a 3 brani classici per violoncello solo
tutto cantato e suonato da Susanna Canessa e la sua band. Acquistalo su:

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