Season & Tickets

Porgy and Bess

Gershwin’s portrait of life and love on Catfish Row boasts some of the most beloved songs ever written, including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin,’” “I Loves You, Porgy,” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” Richly drawn characters experience real-life emotions in this one-of-a-kind masterpiece that combines action, humor, romance, struggle, and celebration to distill something universal about the American experience.

In English with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, with 1 intermission

Availability Update:
Best Availability – August 19 – 7:30p.m.
Limited Availability – August 20 – 7:30p.m.


Audio Preview of Porgy and Bess by General Director Speight Jenkins.



Preview Trailer

Gershwin’s portrait of life and love on Catfish Row boasts some of the most beloved songs ever written, including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin,’” “I Loves You, Porgy,” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”

E-Book Download

Porgy Kindle Spotlight Guide

Educational guide covering Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. The guide introduces the characters of Catfish Row and explores the history behind this great American opera. For Kindle help visit Amazon Support.



Director's Talk

The artists are hard at work in rehearsal, and Stage Director Chris Alexander brags on the amazing talent found in the cast and conductor. Watch Alexander's take on this production, peek behind-the-scenes at the rehearsal process, and hear commentary from the star singers themselves.


Behind The Scenes: Porgy Orchestra

Some of opera’s most memorable music is in Porgy and Bess, and the orchestra is responsible for making it come alive to us. Go backstage to an orchestra rehearsal and hear the songs you know and love, plus Maestro John DeMain walks us through some of the challenges of this work, why Gershwin is so difficult to perform, and why our orchestra is up to the task.


Behind The Scenes: Porgy Chorus

When writing the score for Porgy and Bess, George Gershwin himself mandated that every performance of this work include an all-black chorus. To honor the composer’s request, Seattle Opera held auditions to find our newest chorus members, all local Seattleites with great stories to tell. Watch the chorus in rehearsal and meet a few new choristers in backstage interviews.


Speight's Corner

Porgy is here for the first time in over 15 years, and General Director Speight Jenkins reveals which cast members he wouldn't do this opera without as well as explains the merits of Porgy as an opera versus a musical. Maestro John DeMain makes a special appearance to discuss a particular performance that made operatic history.


About the Cast

Seattle favorite Gordon Hawkins appears as the beggar Porgy, with soprano Lisa Daltirus portraying his beloved Bess. John DeMain, who conducted Seattle Opera’s 1987 and 1995 productions of Porgy, returns.


Audio Player

Listen to General Director Speight Jenkins introduce the “greatest American opera,” as well as preview hit tunes such as Summertime. Check back soon for additional tracks from artists and Stage Director Chris Alexander.


What’s Going On?

A disabled beggar rescues a woman from an abusive relationship only to lose her to a drug dealer in this beloved story, featuring some of the most recognizable songs ever written.

Banner Photo Credit
© Elise Bakketun

Sat, Jul 30, 2011 6:30 PM

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 7:30 PM

Sat, Aug 6, 2011 7:30 PM

Wed, Aug 10, 2011 7:30 PM

Fri, Aug 12, 2011 7:30 PM

Sun, Aug 14, 2011 2:00 PM

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 7:30 PM

Sat, Aug 20, 2011 7:30 PM

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