New York: Random House, 1935. Limited First Edition. Hardcover. 7/250 Signed by George and Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward and Rouben Mamoulian on colophon at rear. Folio. (12) 559 (1)pp. Original full red morocco with blind-stamped publisher's device on cover and blind-stamped lettering on spine; raised bands. Housed in original raffia-covered slipcase. Top edges gilt. Silk straw weave endpapers. Color frontispiece and color-illustrated title page by George Biddle, and publisher's device.
The opera, an adaptation of Heyward's 1925 novel Porgy, opened on September 30, 1935, at Boston's Colonial Theatre. A daring artistic choice at the time, featuring a cast of classically trained African-American singers, it did not recoup its investment. Today it is viewed as Gershwin's masterpiece and an important work in the development of American musical theatre. The premiere was preceded by an adaptation of Heyward's novel by the play "Porgy" by Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, opening in 1927. Not until 1976, in a Houston Grand Opera revival production, did the opera gain acclaim and popularity. Now it is one of the best known and most frequently performed modern operas. In 1959 it was adapted as a musical film, directed by Otto Preminger. Slipcase with some light wear to raffia fiber and corners. Binding with very light wear at corners and spine, here lightly darkened. Missing leather labels on cover and spine. Very good condition. Item #46648