The Hungarian State Opera was not authorized to perform “Porgy and Bess” with an all Hungarian cast.
According to a press release the company released and an article OperaWire published, the company would be making history by performing with a non-black cast.
However, the Tams-Witmark Music Library, which licenses the live stage performing rights for the opera on behalf of the owners of that work, never gave permission to the opera company to do so. According to the Music library, a license was issued to the Hungarian State Opera for performances of the work commencing January 27, 2018 but the Hungarian State Opera did not receive permission to produce “Porgy And Bess” with a cast of Hungarian singers. OperaWire was contacted directly by Jim Colleran, the Director of Communications for Tams-Witmark Music Library, with the information.
Colleran also emphasized that the Opera company’s advertising and program for the production now includes the following language: “The manner in which this production of ‘Porgy And Bess’ is being produced is unauthorized and is contrary to the requirements for the presentation of the work.”