George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" is often called the Great American Opera, and I can't argue with that. First produced on Broadway in 1934, "Porgy and Bess" eventually found a home in opera houses throughout the world (though it has made periodic returns to Broadway, most recently in 2012). The score (with lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin) is such a string of hits — "Summertime," "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," "It Ain't Necessarily So" — that a concert presentation is a great proposition too. That's what musicians from SUNY Brockport will be presenting this Friday night, with Jason Holmes as Porgy, Allyson Tardy as Bess, Elena O'Connor (pictured) as Clara and Serena, and Nicholas Bernard as Jake and Sportin' Life. The program also includes short pieces by Johnny Green and Aaron Copland, as well as two of Richard Strauss's "Four Last Songs." Thomas Warfield will give a pre-concert talk about his uncle, the baritone William Warfield, one of the great performers of the role of Porgy — and a recent Rochester Music Hall of Fame inductee.
Brockport Symphony Orchestra and College-Community Chorus present "Selections from 'Porgy and Bess' in Concert" on Saturday, May 9, at the SUNY Brockport Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street, Brockport. 7:30 p.m. Thomas Warfield's pre-concert talk begins at 6:30 p.m. $8.50-$16. 395-2787 or fineartstix.brockport.edu.