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Porgy and Bess

Porgy and Bess is an opera with music by George Gershwin and libretto by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It was based on Heyward's novel Porgy and the play of the same name that he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy. All three works deal with African American life in the fictitious Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1930s. Originally conceived by Gershwin as an "American folk opera", the work was first performed in various forms in the fall of 1935, but was not widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera until the late 1970s and 1980s: it is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire. Porgy and Bess is also regularly performed internationally, and several recordings of the complete work, including Gershwin's cuts, have been made. "Summertime" is by far the best-known piece from the work, and countless interpretations of this and other individual numbers have also been recorded and performed. The opera is admired for Gershwin's innovative synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music idioms.