JazzTimes: Blue Monday Preview
ON SITE OPERA IN HARLEM TO PRESENT GERSHWIN’S ‘BLUE MONDAY’
EARLY SYMPHONIC JAZZ WORK PREDATES ‘PORGY AND BESS’
By Rachel Dungan
May 24, 2013
On June 18th and 19th, On Site Opera and the Harlem Opera Theater will present performances of George Gershwin’s Blue Monday at the iconic New York Cotton Club. This one-act jazz drama, later renamed 135th Street, was written in 1922 and is considered one of the earliest recognized symphonic jazz works. Despite being heralded as a significant attempt to capture the musical idioms and influences of both jazz and classical art music, the piece was poorly received following its scandalous premiere. The upcoming June production constitutes an attempt to bring light to one of Gershwin’s lesser known works, one that looks forward to the mastery of Porgy and Bess, in a way that is both redemptive and culturally immersive.
Read the entire preview here