Filmed in Norway

Gershwin and Bess Anne Brown Poster

EPIPHANY Inc. is excited to bring educational films to audiences everywhere. Gershwin & Bess: A Dialogue with Anne Brown, the prequel to the half-hour documentary Meet BESS is now available at Third World Newsreel.

Gershwin & Bess… is an on-the-record conversation between Anne Brown and Dr. William A. Brown of the The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) about the work between famed composer George Gershwin and Ms. Brown as she originated the iconic role of “Bess” in Gershwin’s famous opera Porgy and Bess. Music scholars will especially benefit from this historical account exploring musicianship, self-reliance, race and beauty.

This 36-minute consists of a rare conversation as Ms. Brown reflects on her time spent crafting her role in the opera that Dr. Brown denotes as “the apex of artistry in Western culture.”

In the interview Ms. Brown provides the following:

  • a detailed account of her work with George Gershwin
  • timeless anecdotes on the role singers play in creative collaborations
  • an accurate account of the events surrounding a proposed boycott from the Porgy and Bess cast during its run at The National Theatre
  • a revealing narrative that addresses her decision to direct European productions of Porgy and Bess in "blackface"
  • a reflection on the painful decision to end her singing career