Getting away with Cultural Bolshevism: the first European performance of Porgy and Bess in Copenhagen, 1943

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

In 1943, during the German Occupation of Denmark, The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen staged the European premiere of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess. The chapter gives an account of how this opera was accepted and played in the context of occupation and how it was received. This performance has been neglected in most Gershwin scholarship, although being the first performance ever in a full opera production. A core question is how this was possible as this is an opera that represents what the Nazis called Cultural Bolshevism, a work by a Jewish-American composer featuring African-American characters. Research into the archives of the Danish government reveals how this was decided upon.
Translated title of the contributionAt slippe afsted med kulturbolshevisme: den europæiske førsteopførelse af Porgy and Bess, København 1943
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938-1945 : Propaganda, Myth and Reality
EditorsDavid Fanning, Erik Levi
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-71388-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-23061-0
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - musicology, Music history, German Occupation, World War II, George Gershwin, Copenhagen, Royal Theatre, Werner Best, Erik Scavenius, Porgy and Bess, African-American Opera, 20th century music, 1940s

ID: 203087990