SynopsisIn the (white) world of opera, George Gershwin’s alternately celebrated and controversial opera Porgy and Bess is one of the very few works that takes people of color as its subject. Susanna Boehm's stirring documentary follows the cast of the New York Harlem Theatre on their European tour of
The Gershwins’ work. As the troupe travels from city to city, attracting stares from startled Austrians, the parallels between the opera and the real life experiences of individual singers are revealed in a series of deeply personal conversations. Growing up poor, with drugs and violence a common experience, the ambition to become an opera singer seemed an impossible dream for many cast members. A sentiment voiced by many is that black singers have to be twice as good as white singers. Terry Lee Cook has been performing Porgy for ten years. But in the black community, the common perception is that Porgy and Bess is a graveyard for singers of color.