Porgy and Bess is an opera by George Gershwin which debuted in 1935. It was based on the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward, and centers on the life of African Americans in the fictional Catfish Row section of Charleston, South Carolina.
Originally conceived by Gershwin as an "American folk opera," Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in the fall of 1935 and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singersÃ¢â‚¬â€a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. Incorporating a wealth of blues and jazz idioms into the classical art form of opera, Gershwin considered it his finest work. Porgy and Bess is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire and is regularly performed internationally.