Historian and media producer Ellen Noonan, New York University, discusses the long history George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward’s opera Porgy and Bess, the invention and reinvention of which serves as a barometer of twentieth-century American expectations about race, culture, and the struggle for equality. In 1959, the release of producer Samuel Goldwyn’s widely anticipated film version of the American opera met with both censure and acclaim. The talk includes clips from the film which stars Syndey Poitier, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dorothy Dandridge. Noonan is the author of The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera.
Sponsored by the Department of Radio-Television-Film.
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