Hertfordshire Chorus has been asked to perform George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Wroclaw, Poland later this year. The choir will be joining leading conductor and renowned American specialist Wayne Marshall, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic and top-quality soloists Indira Mahajan, Angela Renée Simpson, Ronald Samm and Kevin Short in the International FestivalWratislavia Cantans on Sunday 15thSeptember. The concert forms part of a year-long national project to commemorate the centenary of Poland regaining its independence after the First World War.

Porgy and Bess was written in 1935, just two years before Gershwin’s untimely death at the age of only 38. The work was based on the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It is considered to be among the most important American musical compositions of the 20th century and contains many well-known songs, such as Summertime, It Ain’t Necessarily So and Oh I Can’t Sit Down.

Wayne Marshall

David Temple MBE, the choir’s musical director, will accompany them in Poland, and has a long association with Wayne Marshall. He says “I have worked with Wayne Marshall for over 25 years, mainly on ‘Porgy and Bess’, but also with Wayne playing Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’and the organ solo from Janacek’s ‘Glagolitic Mass’.”

Courtesy of Debbie Ram photography