The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

Stambaugh Auditorium will present The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, produced by Opera Western Reserve in association with The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra. The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin is considered to be the first great American opera, containing many beloved musical numbers such as “Summertime” and “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’.” The tragic love story is set in 1930s Catfish Row, following the unlikely friendship of crippled beggar Porgy and beautiful Bess. Bess is left behind after her abusive partner, Crown, flees from a crime. Longing change from her wretched past she is faced with judgment and temptation while finding happiness in Catfish Row. That is until a hurricane and the return of Crown change life as everyone knows it.

2018 will mark the 15th year of operation and residency at Stambaugh Auditorium for Opera Western Reserve (OWR). For the production of Porgy and Bess, David Vosburgh joined by Karen Clark Green will direct. Rhea Olivacce will return to OWR as Bess. Olivacce’s last performance with OWR was the 2016 production of Carmen as the title role. Porgy will be portrayed by Johnathan Stuckey, who was last seen in this Fall’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor as Raimondo. Susan Davenny Wyner will once again bring flair to the production as the orchestra conductor, while Jon Simsic returns as chorus master.

Ticket prices range from $25-$55 with applicable fees. For tickets, call 330-259-0555, go to, or visit the Florence and Ward Beecher Box Office at Stambaugh Auditorium in person. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 9am-6pm.

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