Category: George Gershwin

  • Gullah/Geechee Resources

    The coast of South Carolina was the port of entry for more than two-thirds of the Africans brought to America as slaves. The wealth of the state, and of its capitol city, Charleston, was built on slavery. Charleston was known as the “Cradle of the Confederacy,” and the first shots in the Civil War were […]

  • Blood Memory in Porgy and Bess

    Over the weekend, I saw the Metropolitan Opera’s wonderful new production of George Gershwin’s 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. Choreographer Camille A. Brown, below, was interviewed backstage about the dances she created for the production. She spoke about drawing on the performers’ “blood memory.” In a recent TED talk, Brown explained that: Movement has always […]

  • Black Opera

    Harry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954). Harry Lawrence Freeman, known in his lifetime as “the black Wagner,” was the first African-American opera composer to have a staged work successfully produced. Born in Cleveland, Freeman eventually moved to Harlem, where he taught music and established the Negro Grand Opera Company. His opera 1914 Voodoo is about a love triangle […]