George Gershwin

George Gershwin, born in Brooklyn, New York on September 26, 1896, began his musical training at thirteen. At fifteen he left high school to work as a Tin Pan Alley "song plugger" and within three years he had seen his first song published. Although "When You Want 'Em You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em You Don't Want 'Em" created little interest, George's "Swanee", popularized by Al Jolson in 1919, brought Gershwin his first real fame. In 1924, when George teamed up with his older brother Ira, "the Gershwins" became the dominant Broadway songwriters, creating brisk, infectious rhythm numbers and affectingly poignant ballads. This extraordinary collaboration lead to a succession of musical comedies, among them Of Thee I Sing (1931), the first musical comedy to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Starting with his early days as a composer of songs, Gershwin had ambitions to compose serious music. His Rhapsody in Blue caught the public's fancy and opened a new era in American music.

In 1926 Gershwin came across DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy, and immediately recognized it as a perfect vehicle for a "folk opera" using blues and jazz idioms. Porgy and Bess was the Gershwin brothers' most ambitious undertaking, tightly integrating unforgettable songs with dramatic incident. The opera was made into a major motion picture by Samuel Goldwyn in 1959.

In 1937, Gershwin was at the height of his career. His symphonic works were becoming part of the standard repertoire for concerts and recitals, and his show songs had brought him ever-increasing fame and fortune. Gershwin died of a brain tumor at the age of 39 on July 11, 1937.


Click company name to view productions details.
Greensboro OperaPorgy and Bess1/21/2022 - 11/15/2020
New Orleans Opera AssociationPorgy and Bess4/30/2021 - 5/2/2021
Washington National OperaPorgy and Bess3/9/2020 - 3/23/2020
Atlanta OperaPorgy and Bess3/7/2020 - 3/15/2020
Metropolitan OperaPorgy and Bess1/8/2020 - 10/16/2019
Cincinnati OperaPorgy and Bess7/20/2019 - 7/28/2019
The Cleveland OperaPorgy and Bess6/1/2019 - 6/1/2019
Fort Worth OperaPorgy and Bess4/26/2019 - 4/30/2019
Seattle OperaPorgy and Bess8/11/2018 - 8/25/2018
Glimmerglass FestivalPorgy and Bess7/7/2017 - 8/21/2017
Opera BirminghamPorgy and Bess9/16/2016 - 9/18/2016
Lyric Opera of ChicagoPorgy and Bess11/11/2014 - 12/19/2014
Opéra de MontréalPorgy and Bess1/1/2014 - 2/2/2014
On Site OperaBlue Monday6/6/2013 - 6/19/2013
Cincinnati OperaPorgy and Bess6/28/2012 - 7/8/2012
OperaDelawarePorgy and Bess5/4/2012 - 5/4/2012
Seattle OperaPorgy and Bess7/7/2011 - 8/20/2011
Atlanta OperaPorgy and Bess2/2/2011 - 3/6/2011
New Orleans Opera AssociationPorgy and Bess10/15/2010 - 10/17/2010
Dayton OperaPorgy and Bess10/10/2010 - 10/30/2010
Opera CarolinaPorgy and Bess5/5/2010 - 5/16/2010
Virginia OperaPorgy and Bess4/4/2010 - 5/8/2010
El Paso OperaPorgy and Bess3/13/2010 - 3/13/2010
San Antonio OperaPorgy and Bess3/5/2010 - 3/5/2010
Washington National OperaPorgy and Bess3/3/2010 - 4/4/2010
San Francisco OperaPorgy and Bess6/6/2009 - 6/27/2009
Baltimore Opera CompanyPorgy and Bess5/5/2009 - 5/17/2009
Pittsburgh Festival OperaPorgy and Bess2/2/2009 - 2/15/2009
Lyric Opera of ChicagoPorgy and Bess11/11/2008 - 12/18/2008
San Francisco OperaPorgy and Bess6/6/2008 - 6/27/2008
Opera BirminghamPorgy and Bess4/4/2008 - 4/26/2008
Opera ModestoPorgy and Bess2/2/2008 - 3/3/2008
Dallas OperaPorgy and Bess2/2/2008 - 3/3/2008
Opera QueenslandPorgy and Bess8/2/2007 - 8/8/2007
State Opera of South AustraliaPorgy and Bess7/7/2007 - 7/14/2007
Seagle Music ColonyCrazy for You7/6/2007 - 7/8/2007
Los Angeles OperaPorgy and Bess5/5/2007 - 5/20/2007
Tulsa OperaPorgy and Bess4/4/2007 - 4/22/2007
Opera PhiladelphiaPorgy and Bess2/2/2007 - 2/24/2007
Opera MemphisPorgy and Bess10/10/2006 - 10/14/2006
Michigan Opera TheatrePorgy and Bess10/10/2006 - 11/11/2006
Opera PacificPorgy and Bess10/5/2006 - 10/10/2006
Mobile OperaPorgy and Bess1/1/2006 - 1/28/2006
University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of MusicCrazy for You11/1/2005 - 11/19/2005
Atlanta OperaPorgy and Bess11/1/2005 - 11/19/2005
Natchez Opera FestivalPorgy and Bess5/1/2005 - 5/7/2005
Edmonton OperaPorgy and Bess5/1/2005 - 5/8/2005
Pensacola OperaPorgy and Bess2/1/2005 - 2/18/2005
Piedmont OperaPorgy and Bess4/1/2004 - 4/6/2004
Opera CarolinaPorgy and Bess2/1/2004 - 2/8/2004
Opera TampaPorgy and Bess11/1/2003 - 11/15/2003
Nashville OperaPorgy and Bess2/28/2003 - 3/3/2003
Shreveport OperaPorgy and Bess2/1/2003 - 2/1/2003
Amarillo OperaPorgy and Bess11/1/2002 - 11/10/2002
Opera IdahoPorgy and Bess10/10/2002 - 10/25/2002
Orlando OperaPorgy and Bess4/4/2002 - 4/28/2002
New Orleans Opera AssociationPorgy and Bess4/4/2002 - 4/13/2002
Fort Worth OperaPorgy and Bess3/3/2002 - 3/17/2002
New York City OperaPorgy and Bess3/2/2002 - 3/22/2002
Skylight Music TheatreLady Be Good3/1/2002 - 3/22/2002
Opera PhiladelphiaPorgy and Bess4/4/2001 - 5/6/2001
Dayton OperaPorgy and Bess3/3/2001 - 3/11/2001
Indianapolis OperaPorgy and Bess10/10/2000 - 10/14/2000
Opera ColoradoPorgy and Bess4/29/2000 - 4/29/2000
Virginia OperaPorgy and Bess4/4/2000 - 4/30/2000
New York City OperaPorgy and Bess3/3/2000 - 3/25/2000
Mercury Opera RochesterPorgy and Bess10/22/1999 - 10/22/1999
Augusta OperaPorgy and Bess3/13/1999 - 3/13/1999
Aurora Opera TheatreBlue Monday11/11/1998 - 11/21/1998
Michigan Opera TheatrePorgy and Bess5/5/1998 - 6/14/1998
Connecticut OperaPorgy and Bess4/4/1998 - 4/26/1998
Eugene OperaPorgy and Bess4/2/1998 - 4/4/1998
Mercury Opera RochesterPorgy and Bess1/1/1998 - 1/11/1998
State Opera of South AustraliaPorgy and Bess4/4/1997 - 4/4/1997
Opera ModestoPorgy and Bess2/2/1997 - 2/9/1997
Atlanta OperaOf Thee I Sing7/7/1996 - 7/19/1996
Opera CarolinaPorgy and Bess4/4/1996 - 4/27/1996
State Opera of South AustraliaBlue Monday3/3/1996 - 3/17/1996
Madison OperaOf Thee I Sing11/4/1995 - 11/11/1995
Portland OperaPorgy and Bess7/7/1995 - 7/29/1995
Los Angeles OperaPorgy and Bess6/6/1995 - 6/18/1995
San Francisco OperaPorgy and Bess5/1/1995 - 6/1/1995
The Cleveland OperaPorgy and Bess4/1/1995 - 4/9/1995
Lyric Opera San DiegoOh! Kay!3/1/1995 - 4/1/1995
San Diego Opera AssociationPorgy and Bess3/1/1995 - 3/12/1995
Seattle OperaPorgy and Bess3/1/1995 - 3/25/1995
Dallas OperaPorgy and Bess2/1/1995 - 2/26/1995
Houston Grand OperaPorgy and Bess1/1/1995 - 2/1/1995
Orlando OperaPorgy and Bess1/1/1994 - 1/9/1994
Lyric Opera San DiegoLady Be Good3/1/1993 - 3/28/1993
Edmonton OperaPorgy and Bess3/1/1993 - 3/5/1993
Opera SaratogaPorgy and Bess8/1/1992 - 8/9/1992
Virginia OperaPorgy and Bess3/1/1992 - 3/20/1992
Opera RoanokePorgy and Bess2/1/1992 - 2/17/1992
Opera MemphisPorgy and Bess10/1/1991 - 10/14/1991
Indianapolis OperaPorgy and Bess9/1/1991 - 9/22/1991

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