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Gershwin: Porgy & Bess / Owens, Blue, Robertson, Metropolitan Opera


Release Date: 03/06/2020 
Label:  Metropolitan Opera   Catalog #: 420118  
Composer:  George Gershwin
Performer:  Frederick BallentineAlfred WalkerGolda SchultzEric Owens,   ... 
Conductor:  David Robertson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

To open the 2019-20 season, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess returned to the Met stage for the first time in nearly 30 years. The acclaimed new production of America's favorite opera is captured in this three-CD set headlined by Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles. David Robertson conducts a superb cast, which also features Latonia Moore, Golda Schultz, Alfred Walker, Frederick Ballentine, and Denyce Graves. Breaking company box-office records, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess was even extended for an unprecedented three additional performances in February 2020. The production was also seen in cinemas around the world on February 1 as part of the Met's Live in HD series and was one of the most successful transmissions in the series's Read more history. Seen live on more than 1,900 screens in nearly 60 countries, the opera reached an estimated 191,095 people. And with delayed showings in Australia, Bermuda, Denmark, India, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and South Africa-as well as encore performances in North America and Europe-worldwide attendance of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess will surely reach more than 325,000.

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REVIEW:

As Porgy, the magnificent bass-baritone Eric Owens gives one of the finest performances of his distinguished career. His powerful voice, with its earthy textures and resonant sound, is ideal for the role. His sensitivity into the layered feelings and conflicts that drive his character made even the most familiar moments of the music seem startlingly fresh. And, as Bess, the sumptuously voiced soprano Angel Blue is radiant, capturing both the pride and fragility of the character.

– New York Times (Anthony Tommasini review, Sept. 2019) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin
Performer:  Frederick Ballentine (Baritone), Alfred Walker (Bass), Golda Schultz (Soprano),
Eric Owens (Baritone), Angel Blue (Soprano), Latonia Moore (Soprano),
Denyce Graves (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  David Robertson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Buyer Beware February 24, 2021 By john karr See All My Reviews "I don't know why so many critics, who should know better, claimed this recording is "Complete." It is missing a full half hour of music, whyi is enough to remove it from all competition. But there are a few other complaints. Chief is that Eric Owens, who was ill when this recording was made, is so stentorian. Not happy in Plenty of Nothing, nor romantic in his duets with Bess. He's just not an actor. The Sportin' Life is lacklustre, and veteran Denyce Graves needs to stop. She still looks gorgeous, but she's lost her voice. She mangles and distorts her rap number; it's not at all what Gershwin wrote, not not effective. Angel Blue is a very good Bess, and Latania Moore's Serena is the best on record, a gripping, thrilling and masterfully sung and acted job, period, second only to Leontyne Price's classic recording. Conductor Donald Robertson seems to be in a rush to get home, or at least finish before the musicians go into overtime. I don't get it. The Met doesn't cut a half hour of music in Rosenkavalieror any of their Wagner shows. Why are they showing such disrespect for Gershwin? Buy the Houston Grand Opera recording for its vibrant theatricality, of get Simon Rattle's for his symphonic sweep. I traveled cross country to see this production, and was grievously disappointed. Seeing it a second time in a movie theatre, and a third time on DVD only reconfirmed my great distaste for this production." Report Abuse
 Elaborate Staging, On Point Singing June 30, 2020 By M. Bishop (Clackamas, OR) See All My Reviews "Eric Owens and Angel Blue (along with their fellow musicians) do a stellar job of presenting Gershwins’ production, Porgy and Bess. This production, put on by The Metropolitan Opera, has the performers putting their best foot forward, as members of The Met chorus sing and the orchestra, under the auspices of David Robertson, play. This live recording of this opera is well done; the vocalists are in good voice. This 3-CD album highlights the elaborate staging and the colorful costumes prepared just for this presentation. I highly recommend this album." Report Abuse
 Stunning March 15, 2020 By J. Tatnall (West Grove, PA) See All My Reviews "Taped from two live performances this season, 2019-20, this Porgy and Bess is simply stunning. Complete, swiftly moving, living characters, singing beautifully bring the opera to life in front of a live audience in the opera house. The sound is rich and full, the applause not intrusive, the voices stunning. Orchestra, chorus, etc. top drawer. All in the hands of a masterful theatre conductor of wide experience." Report Abuse
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