American Culture In George Gershwin's Porgy And Bess

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Today we face the complex decision whether to stage or not the controversial 1935 opera Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin. The author, touched by the 1925 novel Porgy, fashioned this opera challenging his initial area of expertise, jazz. Not only did he challenge his previous image, he also had African Americans on stage for a white audience, an unprecedented occurrence. This opera tells the love story between Porgy, the crippled beggar, and Bess, an addicted woman. After the first performance, it soon became the source of American recognition and praise by the whites, who thought it a true African American reality. However, it was narrowed to the poverty-stricken population, which showed the conservative view of whites, who thought of African Americans as belonging only to low-level communities who needed them . Since the opera’s premier, the aficionados have disagreed about its authenticity. We must use this incredible opportunity to transform the opera’s unfavorable historical interpretation, honor Gershwin’s purpose, and…show more content…
If we preserve certain elements like the musical scores and dialogues, we are allowing certain discussions to be reopened furthering the essence of American culture. This continual variety of perspectives and arguments is a very characteristic feature of USA culture that can be exploited. Not only are we enhancing our public to act “American”, but they will be exploring an opera considered by critics an American symbol . If we portray a more accurate reality of the opera, while keeping the key controversies, the opera will have both American folklore and will enhance American attitudes. Our Porgy and Bess could become a symbol of the unification of races while allowing the use of freedom of speech to broaden the perspectives of Americans. The only question that I have left unanswered is: How can we express these efforts properly to the
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