“Porgy and Bess” Returns to Seattle Opera With Two Beloved Cast Members

It opens August 11

By Gavin Borchert


August 1, 2018

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the August 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Seattle Opera’s signature achievement will always be its stagings of Wagner’s 15-hour Ring of the Nibelungs, simply for its sheer “epicosity.” But I’d be hard-pressed to name a more powerful and gripping production than the company’s 2011 Porgy and Bess—for ravishing the ear (cue the sultry “Summertime”), for bringing its characters to vivid life, for creating a world throbbing with realness, for taking the full measure of Heyward and Gershwin’s masterwork, for staying with me indelibly ever since.

The company is reviving that production, and (yes!) bringing back two of the cast members who gave it its punch: soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams as an indomitable Serena, and tenor Jermaine Smith as a serpentine Sportin’ Life. Seriously, do not miss this.

8/11–8/25. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 321 Mercer St.; 206.733.9725.


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