The Met: Live in HD supported financially by the Foundation of the Arts and Music in Asia, a Hong Kong-registered charity.

The Gershwins'

Porgy and Bess
蓋西文 《波吉與貝絲》

10 October 2021 (SUN) 3:30pm, Emperor Cinemas (Entertainment Building, Central) 
2021年 10月10日 (星期日) 下午3時30分,英皇戲院(中環娛樂行)

20 November 2021 (SAT) 3:00pm, K11 Art House
2021年 11月20日 (星期六) 下午3時正,K11 Art House

28 November 2021 (SUN) 3:35 pm, Premiere Elements
2021年 11月28日 (星期日) 下午3時35分, Premiere Elements

Expected running Time: 3Hrs 35Mins  

Sung in English with Chinese and English Subtitles









CONDUCTOR David Robertson

PRODUCTION James Robinson

SET DESIGNER Michael Yeargan




Act I
Catfish Row, a tenement neighborhood of Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1920s. The inhabitants of Catfish Row are relaxing after a day’s work. Clara sings a lullaby to her baby. The drug-dealer Sportin’ Life, Clara’s husband Jake, and some of the other men are playing craps under the disapproving eye of the religious Serena. Jake sings a lullaby of his own to the baby.The disabled beggar Porgy arrives and is about to join the game when Crown and his partner Bess appear. The loudmouthed Crown joins the dice game. Drunk and high on drugs, he loses, starts a fight, and kills Robbins with a cotton hook. Before the police arrive, Crown runs off to hide, telling Bess that he’ll be back for her. The community shuns Bess as they await the arrival of the police. Sportin’ Life offers to take her to New York with him, but she refuses. Only Porgy is sympathetic to her: He offers her shelter and his protection, which she accepts.In her room the following evening, Robbins’s widow Serena leads the mourners at her husband’s funeral. A collection is being taken to meet the cost of the burial. Porgy and Bess enter, and Bess offers Serena a contribution which at first she refuses thinking it must be Crown’s money. She finally accepts is when it is explained that it is Porgy’s.The police officers arrive and accuse Peter the Honeyman of the murder. Fearing what might happen, he tells them that Crown was responsible but is himself promptly arrested as a material witness.Serena convinces the undertaker to bury Robbins for less than his usual fee. Bess leads everyone in an exultant spiritual.A month later, Jake and the other fishermen are mending their nets. Porgy compares his life to theirs. Sportin’ Life enters, but before he has an opportunity to peddle any of his “happy dust,” Maria, the matriarch of Catfish Row, chases him away. “Lawyer” Frazier sells Bess a divorce, even though she and Crown were never married.Everyone is preparing to leave for a church picnic on Kittiwah Island. Sportin’ Life asks Bess again to come to New York with him and tries to give her more dope, which she refuses. Porgy threatens him and chases him off. He and Bess reflect on their newfound happiness. Porgy insists that Bess should go to the picnic without him. At first, she refuses, not wanting to leave him alone, but eventually, she yields to his persuasion and joins the others as they set off.On Kittiwah Island, the evening of the same day, Sportin’ Life describes his own cynical view of religion to some of the revelers, until Serena chastises them for being taken in by his stories. The steamboat whistle announces that its time to leave, and everyone starts to pack up their belongings. Bess hurries along until Crown, who has been hiding on the island since the Robbins murder, calls out to her. He wants Bess to come with him, but she explains that she now has a new life with Porgy. Crown forces her to stay with him. 

鯰魚街是1920年代南卡州查爾斯頓的貧民區。一整天的工作過後的鯰魚街居民正在放鬆休息。克萊拉唱搖籃曲給孩子聽,毒販斯鮑丁•萊夫、克萊拉的丈夫傑克和其他人一起在賭骰子,虔誠的思拉娜怒目瞪著他們,傑克唱搖籃曲給孩子聽。殘疾的乞丐波吉加入賭局,此時克勞恩與他的伴侶貝絲現身。吵鬧的克勞恩也一起賭骰子, 克勞恩酒醉吸毒、異常亢奮,賭輸就找人打架,還用棉花鉤殺死羅賓斯。克勞恩趁警察還沒來,告訴貝絲自己會回來找她,連忙跑去躲了起來。居民等待警察到來,他們紛紛迴避貝絲。斯鮑丁•萊夫提議帶她去紐約,但是她拒絕了。唯有波吉同情她,願意收留保護她,她也接受波吉的好意。隔天晚上,羅賓斯遺孀思拉娜與眾人在房裡哀悼亡夫,舉行喪禮。眾人籌募喪葬費用,波吉與貝絲出現,貝絲給了思拉娜一筆錢。起初思拉娜覺得這一定是克勞恩的錢,所以她堅持不收,後來有人解釋這是波吉出的錢,她才終於收下。警察抵達後指控彼得是殺人兇手,彼得害怕坐冤獄,便告訴警方克勞恩才是真凶,警方還是把他當成重要證人逮捕。思拉娜說服殯儀業者以低於行情的價格埋葬羅賓斯,貝絲帶領大家歡欣高唱靈歌。一個月過後,傑克與其他漁民正在補網,波吉比較自己與他人的生活。斯鮑丁•萊夫現身,他還來不及賣出任何「歡樂魔塵」,就被鯰魚街大姐頭瑪麗亞趕走。即使貝絲和克勞恩從未結婚,「律師」弗雷澤爾還是和貝斯索取離婚手續費。大家正準備參加海鷗島的教堂野餐聚會。斯鮑丁•萊夫再次邀貝絲去紐約,想給她更多毒品,可是她並未答應。波吉斯威脅鮑丁•萊夫,將他趕跑。他和貝絲沉浸在兩人初獲的幸福,波吉堅持自己留下,讓貝絲和其他人一起去參加野餐聚會。貝絲原本拒絕這個提議,不想讓他獨自一人,最終還是拗不過他,跟著別人一起赴會。當天晚上,斯鮑丁•萊夫在海鷗島向享樂縱慾者分享自我經驗、灌輸偏激的宗教觀,直到思拉娜把他們通通罵醒。輪船號笛聲宣布離開時間已到,每個人開始收拾行李。貝絲連忙跟上卻被克勞恩叫住,原來羅賓斯死後他一直窩藏島上。他希望貝絲跟他走,但她說自己已經跟波吉展開新生活,克勞恩硬是逼她留下。 


Act II
In Catfish Row, at dawn a week later, fishermen leave for a day’s work at sea despite a storm warning. Bess is heard talking deliriously from Porgy’s room. She has been feverish and ill since returning from Kittiwah Island. Peter, released from police custody that morning, advises Porgy to take her to hospital, but Serena would rather pray for her recovery. Her prayers are answered: Bess emerges into the courtyard, free of the fever. She explains to Porgy that she wants to stay with him but that when Crown returns, she’ll be forced to go back to him. Porgy tells her that she doesn’t have to go with Crown, and he and Bess reaffirm their love for each other. The wind begins to rise and the hurricane bell sounds.At dawn the following day, everyone cowers together in Serena’s room, and they pray for deliverance from the storm. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door: It’s Crown seeking shelter and looking for Bess. She won’t go with him, insisting that she belongs to Porgy alone. He mocks Porgy and the frightened townspeople and counteracts their prayers for deliverance with a vulgar song. At the storm’s height, Clara sees Jake’s boat has overturned and rushes out to save her husband. Bess calls for one of the men to go after her. Crown is the only one to respond.In Catfish Row the following night, the storm has passed. The women grieve for those who have been lost, including Jake, Clara and, it is assumed, Crown. Sportin’ Life appears, mocks their weeping, and hints that Crown is still alive. Bess is seen at a window lulling Clara’s baby to sleep. Under the cover of darkness, Crown steals in and approaches Porgy’s door. But Porgy is ready for him, strikes the first blow, and kills him.The next afternoon, the detective returns to Catfish Row, accompanied by the coroner. They are investigating Crown’s murder, but their questioning of Serena and two other women draws a blank. They go to Porgy’s room and tell him he must come with them and identify Crown’s body. Horrified that he must look at Crown’s face, Porgy refuses to go and has to be dragged off.Taking advantage of Porgy’s absence, Sportin’ Life tries to convince Bess that Porgy will be locked up for certain, and he attempts to lure her away to a new life. When Bess spurns him, he forces some dope on her and leaves more outside her door as he leaves.A week later, the inhabitants of Catfish Row greet each other at the beginning of another day. Porgy returns from jail in jubilant mood: He distributes gifts that he has bought with money he won playing games of crap in jail. He is unaware of his friends’ discomfort as he calls out for Bess. Eventually, Serena and Maria tell him that Bess has gone to New York with Sportin’ Life. Hearing this, Porgy decides to follow her: He cannot live without Bess. 


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