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South Carolina State Opera

"Porgy and Bess"   Adopted: August 29, 2001

Sources...

State of South Carolina. South Carolina Code of Laws. Columbia: State of South Carolina, 2011. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/statmast.htm>.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.


South Carolina state Opera
South Carolina State Opera: "Porgy and Bess"

Additional Information

The Complicated Life of Porgy and Bess: National Endowment for the Humanities - Article by James Standifer.

George Gershwin - Porgy and Bess (1934): Article on Classical.net by Jane Erb.

Is it a Musical or is it an Opera?: Article on FanFare, the webzine that celebrates music.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official South Carolina state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and Bess
DuBose Heyward
James M. Hutchisson

DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and Bess, by James M. Hutchisson. 225 pages. Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (March 6, 2000) A biography of the proper Charlestonian who wrote of the Gullahs of Catfish Row and inspired a Gershwin masterpiece.

In 1924 DuBose Heyward (1885 -1940) was a businessman absorbed in his Charleston heritage. One year later he was the world-famous author of Porgy, the first major southern novel to portray blacks without condescension. Just a decade later George Gershwin had transformed Heyward's book into an opera that would become one of the most enduring masterworks of American music.

Mainly known today as the author of Porgy, Heyward was a versatile artist equally at ease with verse, short fiction, novels, plays, and Hollywood screenwriting. He and his wife Dorothy helped to energize the nascent black theater movement in New York. A cofounder of the Poetry Society of South Carolina, the first regional poetry circle in America, Heyward became a vigorous promoter of southern writing that was to peak in the great southern literary renaissance.

The Life and Times of Porgy and Bess: The Story of an American Classic
The Life and Times
of Porgy and Bess

Hollis Alpert

The Life and Times of Porgy and Bess: The Story of an American Classic, by Hollis Alpert. 354 pages. Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (October 10, 1990) Traces the creation and history of Gershwin's classic opera, from the writing of DuBose Heyward's book to Gershwin's adaptation of the story into musical form and the opera's success on stage, in film, and around the world.

Porgy
Porgy
DuBose Heyward

Porgy, by DuBose Heyward. 168 pages. Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (March 14, 2001) The fictional characters of Porgy, Bess, Black Maria, Sportin' Life, and the other Gullah denizens of Catfish Row have attained a mythic status and have become inextricably identified with Charleston. This novel is the story of Porgy, a crippled street-beggar in the black tenement. Unwashed and un-wanted, he lives just on the edge of subsistence and trusts his fate to the gods and chance. His one shining moment is his pursuit of Bess, whom he wins and then loses during one summer of passion and violence.

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess: The 75th Anniversary Celebration
The Gershwins'
Porgy and Bess

Robin Thompson

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess: The 75th Anniversary Celebration, by Robin Thompson. 200 pages. Publisher: Amadeus Press (October 15, 2010) In 1935 George Gershwin continued the melding of theatrical, classical, and jazz idioms he began with "Rhapsody in Blue," bringing DuBose Heyward's novel and play Porgy to the musical stage with Porgy and Bess. Collaborating with his brother Ira and Heyward, Gershwin created what was deemed at the time a "folk opera" - a work that over the years has passed through cycles of praise and criticism, finally achieving recognition as a great American theatrical achievement and inclusion in the repertoire of opera companies around the world.

In this lavishly illustrated 75th anniversary volume, created with the participation of the Gershwin estate, opera producer and author Robin Thompson recounts the history of Porgy and Bess as he looks at the various interpretations of the work and the many layers of meaning to be found in the story of the crippled Porgy, the conflicted and vulnerable Bess, the dope peddler Sportin' Life, and the other residents of Catfish Row.

Packed with unique, rarely seen archival photographs and documents associated with the production, Porgy and Bess commemorates this uniquely American blending of musical, ethnic, and creative styles and the people, the performers, and the times that produced it.

Porgy and Bess (1959)
Porgy and Bess

Porgy and Bess (1959), with Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge. 138 minutes. DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002. In 1935 George Gershwin continued the melding of theatrical, classical, and jazz idioms he began with "Rhapsody in Blue," bringing DuBose Heyward's novel and play Porgy to the musical stage with Porgy and Bess. Collaborating with his brother Ira and Heyward, Gershwin created what was deemed at the time a "folk opera" - a work that over the years has passed through cycles of praise and criticism, finally achieving recognition as a great American theatrical achievement and inclusion in the repertoire of opera companies around the world. In this lavishly illustrated 75th anniversary volume, created with the participation of the Gershwin estate, opera producer and author Robin Thompson recounts the history of Porgy and Bess as he looks at the various interpretations of the work and the many layers of meaning to be found in the story of the crippled Porgy, the conflicted and vulnerable Bess, the dope peddler Sportin' Life, and the other residents of Catfish Row. Packed with unique, rarely seen archival photographs and documents associated with the production, Porgy and Bess commemorates this uniquely American blending of musical, ethnic, and creative styles and the people, the performers, and the times that produced it.