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Words and Music by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Du Bose Heyward & Dorothy Heyward.
Arranged for concert performance by Robert Russell Bennett or Andrew Litton.

Administered for amateur stage rights by Boosey & Hawkes in the UK.

Licensing performances

If you wish to apply to perform the work, then please send an email to stating the following information only:

1) Name of school/society

2) Where you are (city/town)

3) What you want to perform (Porgy and Bess concert version - please specify the version you wish to perform)

4) When you want to perform (if exact dates are not yet known, then please provide the month)

We will then send you an application form by email to complete, along with details of costs involved. Once the form is completed and returned by email, a licence will be emailed to you for signature. Once signed we will be able to send you the music at the date requested on your application form.

Please note that we administer stage rights only.  All hire materials should be obtained directly from Schott Music.


THE STORY (Charleston in South Carolina, USA; the recent past)
The story tells of Porgy’s love for Bess. She is considered to be Crown’s woman but when he is forced to go into hiding for killing a neighbour, she seeks sanctuary with Porgy. When Crown eventually returns to claim her, Bess does not want to leave Porgy and the rivalry between the two men culminates with Porgy murdering Crown. When Porgy is taken away to identify the body, Bess, persuaded into thinking that he will be charged with Crown’s murder and imprisoned for a long time, is enticed by Sporting Life, a pedlar of “happy dust”, to come away with him to New York. When Porgy returns home a week later and discovers where Bess has gone, he sets out immediately for New York to find her.

MUSICAL NUMBERS (Bennett version) - approx 40’
Summertime (soprano)
A Woman is a Sometime Thing (baritone and chorus)
Gone, Gone, Gone (chorus)
Overflow (chorus)
My man’s Gone now (soprano)
The Promised land (soprano and chorus)
I Got Plenty o’Nuttin (baritone)
Bless, you is my Woman Now (soprano, baritone)
Oh, I can’t sit Down (chorus)
I ain’t Got no Shame (chorus)
It ain’t necessarily so (baritone and chorus)
There’s a Boat dat’s Leavin (baritone)
Lawd, I’m on my Way (baritone, soprano and chorus)

MUSICAL NUMBERS (Litton version) - approx 60’
Introduction/Jazbo Brown/Summertime (soprano and chorus)
A Woman is a Sometime Thing (baritone, tenor, chorus)
Gone, Gone, Gone (2 sopranos, baritone, chorus)
My man’s Gone now (soprano)
Leavin for the Promise’ Lan’ (soprano and chorus)
I Got Plenty o’Nuttin (baritone 2 sopranos, chorus)
Bless, you is my Woman Now (soprano, baritone)
Oh, I can’t sit Down (chorus)
I ain’t Got no Shame/It ain’t necessarily so/Shame on all you Sinners (soprano, tenor, chorus)
Porgy, Porgy, Dat you There ain’t it/I Loves you Porgy (soprano, baritone)
Hurricane (orchestra only)
There’s a Boat dat’s Leavin (soprano, tenor)
Good Mornin’ Sistuh (chorus)
Oh Lord I’m on My Way (baritone, chorus)

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For further information visit the Warner/Chappell website

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