Porgy and Bess is an opera with music by George Gershwin and libretto
by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It was based on Heyward's novel
Porgy and the play of the same name that he co-wrote with his wife
Dorothy. All three works deal with African American life in the
ficticious Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina in the early
1930s. Originally conceived by Gershwin as an "American folk opera",
the work was first performed in various forms in the fall of 1935, but
was not widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera
until the late 1970s and 1980s: it is now considered part of the
standard operatic repertoire. Porgy and Bess is also regularly
performed internationally, and several recordings of the complete
work, including Gershwin's cuts, have been made. "Summertime" is by
far the best-known piece from the work, and countless interpretations
of this and other individual numbers have also been recorded and
performed. The opera is admired for Gershwin's innovative synthesis of
European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Arab forces led by Khalid bin Walid took control of Syria and
Palestine in the Battle of Yarmuk, marking the first great wave of
Muslim conquests and the rapid advance of Islam outside Arabia.
Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria invaded Thrace and drove the Byzantines out.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuted in Moscow.
"Prague Spring" abruptly ended when 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and
5,000 tanks invaded Czechoslovakia.
Estonia regained its independence in the Singing Revolution as part of
the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Wikiquote of the day:
"The Government of the State of Israel and the Palestinian team
representing the Palestinian people agree that it is time to put an
end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognize their mutual
legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful
coexistence and mutual dignity and security to achieve a just, lasting
and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through
the agreed political process." -- The Oslo Accords