GERSHWIN, GEORGE. (1898-1937). Signed first edition of the piano vocal score of America’s greatest opera, Porgy and Bess. (“George Gershwin”). 559pp. Folio. (Gershwin Publishing Corp., New York, 1935). Inscribed on the title page to Gershwin’s first biographer ISAAC GOLDBERG (1887-1938) with the additional signatures of his brother, lyricist IRA GERSHWIN (1896-1983); author and librettist DU BOSE HEYWARD (1885-1940); director ROUBEN MAMOULIAN (1897-1987); and conductor ALEXANDER SMALLENS (1889-1972). Each collaborator has added their signature beneath their printed name.
George Gershwin read Heyward’s novel, Porgy, in the summer of 1926, and immediately wrote him suggesting a collaboration on an operatic version. Informed that a stage adaptation by The Theatre Guild was already underway, Gershwin set aside his plans, never losing hope, however, that such a venture could someday be realized. The Guild’s acclaimed production of Porgy, also directed by Rouben Mamoulian, premiered on October 10, 1927.