Porgy and Bess at the New York City Opera

Porgy and Bess at the New York City Opera

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Porgy and Bess at the New York City Opera


For my first concert report I went to see Porgy and Bess at the New York City Opera. I heard from friends and family that this was a good show and that is the main reason that I decided to attend this particular opera. First of all, I would like to say that for $5 tickets I got some pretty good seats. I personally thought that the auditorium was beautiful. It had good size and there was nothing obstructing my view of the stage. I also thought that the set was nicely arranged, it gave you the feel that you were actually on Catfish Row. The set changes also went by quickly and smoothly.
The musicians appeared to be very comfortable and relaxed. While they were tuning up their instruments, some were engaged in conversation with one another while other looked poised and ready to start the show. However, I did not see too much interaction between the musicians and the conductor. The crowd was buzzing with the expectation of a great show.
The opera opens with a brief overture and then a piano is heard playing the "Jazzbo Brown" sequence. I thought that this was a good selection to open the story with because it gave you a feel of the town and how it was to live on Catfish Row. The next selection is called "Summertime." This was a very soft tune and it brought a hush over the crowd. Clara sang it as a lullaby to her baby. "Overflow, overflow" was played while the townspeople were collecting money for Robbins burial. This song was very upbeat and up-tempo. As the scene comes to a close, Serena sings, "My man is gone now." This selection had a very dreary sound to it as it signified the death of her husband Robbins.
The "Buzzard Song" is another piece played in Porgy and Bess. It is played when Porgy sees a buzzard-flying overhead. He feels that the bird is a sign of bad things to come. From the sound of this selection you can almost sense a turn of events about to happen. Another selection, and my personal favorite, was "It ain't necessarily so." It was played during the picnic and sang by Sportin' Life.

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He had just finished giving a sermon and the song is about the virtues of being skeptical. This song was very up-tempo and had a nice rhythm to it. I was not alone in my appreciation as the crowd joined in a loud ovation. The finally was "Oh Bess, Oh where's my Bess." This piece was played when Porgy realizes that Bess has left for New York with Sportin' Life. It sets a very sad mood to the show as Porgy sets off the New York to find his woman.
I had never been to an opera before so I didn't know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by Porgy and Bess. I thought that the overall show was wonderful, the music was well played and the actors did an excellent job of capturing their roles. The only problem I had was that I couldn't always understand what the characters were saying, but that wasn't really a problem because of the super titles. The sets were nice as well as the costumes worn by the cast. I enjoyed the whole opera atmosphere and will definitely attend another show in the future.
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