Eighty years ago -- almost to the day -- Porgy and Bess went on the road for a try-out prior to opening in New York in October, 1935. The initial reception was disappointing.
To salvage something from the score, George Gershwin collected some of the music into a symphonic suite, Catfish Row. But then, in a turn of events, Porgy developed an audience and it was the suite that sat on a shelf for 25 years.
Thursday's program opens with Catfish Row.
Then it's off to New France and the music of Colonial Quebec.