The Gershwins’
Porgy and Bess

july 20, 25, & 27, 2019 | 7:30 PM
july 28, 2019 | 3:00 PM
Music Hall

Music by George Gershwin
Libretto by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin

Sung in English with projected lyrics
Performance Length: 3 hours, including 1 intermission
Rated PG-13 for mature themes

Rise up singing.

All was forgiven. The past was done. They had each other, and they were happy. Morning time and evening time, summertime and wintertime… In each others’ arms, they found peace and unexpected, if fleeting refuge.

For only the second time ever, Cincinnati Opera will present the Gershwins’ great American opera Porgy and Bess on the Music Hall stage. Replete with hits including “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and a touching story of love and perseverance in adversity, it will be presented in a “vibrant” (Chicago Tribune) production by star director Francesca Zambello with costumes by the Tony Award-winning Hamilton costume designer, Paul Tazewell. Grammy-nominated soprano Talise Trevigne makes her company debut as Bess with a voice that’s “high and rich and round“ (Washington Post). Bass Morris Robinson, praised for singing with “an extraordinary blend of power and fluidity” (San Francisco Chronicle), leads the cast as Porgy.


Cincinnati Enquirer
“So American, musically magnificent, and still very current.” Read the review.

Cincinnati Business Courier
"Powerful, believable, and ultimately breathtaking.” Read the review.

"The tight-knit community of diverse, realistic characters and their many joys and tragedies is as relatable as it is lively.” Read the review.


Cast & Creative Team

Porgy  Morris Robinson
Bess  Talise Trevigne
Crown  Nmon Ford
Sportin’ Life  Frederick Ballentine
Clara  Janai Brugger
Jake  Reginald Smith, Jr.
Serena  Indra Thomas
Maria  La’Shelle Allen
Mingo  Ernest Jackson
Robbins/Crab Man  Larry D. Hylton
Peter  Tifton Graves
Jim  Phillip Bullock
Undertaker  Nathaniel Thompson
Annie  Tammie Woods
Nelson  Darian Clonts
Strawberry Woman  Brittany Logan
Lily  Gabriella Sam

Conductor  David Charles Abell
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Original Production  Francesca Zambello
Stage Director  Garnett Bruce
Scenic Designer  Peter J. Davison
Costume Designer  Paul Tazewell
Lighting Designer  Mark McCullough
Wig & Make-up Designer  James Geier
Chorus Master  Henri Venanzi
Original Choreography  Eric Sean Fogel
Choreographer  Eboni Adams
Fight Director  Gina Cerimele-Mechley

Scenery originally created for Glimmerglass Festival & Seattle Opera. Costumes from Washington National Opera.

Meet the composer

George Gershwin

George Gershwin was one of the most significant American composers of the 20th century, known for popular stage and screen numbers as well as classical compositions.

Life is a lot like jazz—it’s best when you improvise.

Learn More

Opera Insights
Enhance your Porgy and Bess knowledge with a pre-curtain lecture one hour before each performance in Music Hall's Corbett Tower. Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director, provides overviews and insights into the opera's history, music, and production. Free to all ticket holders. No reservations required.