Baker and Mitchell Are NJ State Opera's Porgy and Bess

News   Baker and Mitchell Are NJ State Opera's Porgy and Bess
Principal casting of The New Jersey State Opera's May production of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess will include Gregg Baker (Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and Broadway's The Wiz, Timbuktu!) as Porgy and Laquita Mitchell (Kennedy Center's Master Class with Tyne Daly) as Bess.

Performances of this fully produced 75th anniversary production of folk opera will play 8 PM May 21 and 3 PM May 23 at Newark Symphony Hall at 1030 Broad Street. This is billed as the Newark premiere of the groundbreaking work that walks the line between opera and musical theatre. It premiered on Broadway in 1935.

The principal cast will also include Lester Lynch (NYCO) as Crown, Angela Brown (Metropolitan Opera) as Serena, Janinah Burnett (Metropolitan Opera) as Clara and Lawrence Craig (NYCO) as Sportin' Life.

Jonathan Eaton, artistic director of Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, will direct. Jason C. Tramm will conduct a 55-piece orchestra. Auditions for the ensemble will be announced.

According to NJSO notes, "Set in the fictional Catfish Row, SC, Porgy and Bess is the story of the crippled beggar Porgy transformed by his unexpected and improbable love for Bess." The 1935 musical includes some of the greatest songs in musical theatre, including "Summertime," “I Got Plenty o' Nothin'," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and "It Ain't Necessarily So."

Music is by George Gershwin. Lyrics are by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, drawing from the Heyward's novel "Porgy." Heyward penned the libretto. Single tickets are priced from $46.20-$135.45. To purchase tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or visit Tickets may also be purchased at the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office, (973) 792-1730 or



This production is not related to the national tour of Porgy and Bess.

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