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Dr. Stacy to Discuss "Porgy and Bess" at Cavanaugh Lecture

Released: 03/17/2009

Dr. James Stacy, LSU at Alexandria professor of communication studies, will discuss “Porgy and Bess: The Road Has Not Been Easy” Thursday (March 19) at the Cavanaugh Lecture Series. The 6 p.m. presentation at the Alexandria Museum of Art is free and open to the public.

Stacy will narrate the journey of the second all-black American folk opera, which later became a film classic, from creation to today. “Porgy and Bess,” based on a novel by Thomas Heyward, made its debut in 1935. Iconic composer George Gershwin wrote the music, and his brother Ira and Heyward collaborated on the lyrics.

The musical, which was nine years in the making, initially was poorly received given the cultural and political values of the time. Stacy contends the “art of opera elevates the characters, and the work should not be taken as a social documentary.” A brief multi-media presentation to illustrate Stacy’s position will accompany the lecture.

This is the fifth and final event in the Cavanaugh Lecture Series during the spring semester. The lecture series is presented by the Department of Arts, English and Humanities at LSUA.