The Princeton Public Library is providing a series of free events to preview the Princeton Opera Festival’s production of George Gershwin’s celebrated American opera, “Porgy and Bess,” opening Sunday, June 22.
The library programs begin on Thursday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. with festival artistic director — and the opera’s conductor — Richard Tang-Yuk and stage director Steven LaCosse discussing their presentation of “Porgy and Bess,” engaging in a question and answer session with the audience, and introducing the production’s principal performers, who will provide scenes and moments of the show.
The first of three lectures that focus on the opera follows on Thursday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m., with “Illustrating Life in the American South before ‘Porgy and Bess.’” Princeton University Art Museum docent Marianne Grey provides an overview of artists’ representations of African American life in the American South from Colonial times to the 1920s.
The second lecture in the series is “Porgy and Bess: A Musical Kaleidoscope” presented Thursday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. by Rider University professor of music Timothy Urban. Urban will examine the wide-ranging musical styles Gershwin employed to create the opera.
American cultural historian and concert producer Joseph Horowitz concludes the lectures on Monday, June 16, at 7 p.m. with the presentation “Bring My Goat!” The talk explores the contributions of film and theater director Rouben Mamouolian to “Porgy and Bess.” Horowitz is the author of seven books on American music including his latest, “On My Way: The Untold Story of Rouben Mamouolian, George Gershwin, and ‘Porgy and Bess.’”
Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Free. 609-924-9529 or www.princetonlibrary.org.