‘Porgy and Bess’ will be staged at Merrill

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PORTLAND – Portland Ovations will present the iconic opera “Porgy and Bess” Friday, April 2, at Merrill Auditorium.

This classic American opera by George and Ira Gershwin, with additional lyrics by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The touring company coming to Merrill has performed it more than 1,000 times and on six continents over the past 15 years.

“Porgy and Bess” takes audiences into the hearts and minds of the denizens of Catfish Row where gambling, dancing, fighting and loving are the order of the day.

The powerful and elegant score includes memorable tunes like “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “I Got Plenty of Nuttin'” and “Summertime.”

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Dr. Ellen Chickering of the University of Southern Maine’s school of music will give a preshow lecture from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Merrill’s rehearsal hall. She will explore the life of George Gershwin and his combination of tragic opera themes and contemporary issues of African-American life.

“Porgy and Bess” will be presented at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $38 to $53 and are $20 for students. They are available at PortTix, the Merrill Auditorium box office; by calling 842-0800; and online at www.portlandovations.org.

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