Who calls dat livin', when no gal will give in, to no man who's lived 900 years.
It's really not so much an opera as a Broadway musical (and there are musical versions), so it has the standard obsession over "love! love! love!" But what other musical is going to give you blasphemy, drugs, murder, prostitution, beefcake, and gay symbolism?
Meanwhile innocent bystander Peter is arrested for the murder.
Many fishermen are killed in a storm.
Their women mourn them.
Crown returns, rapes Bess, and is murdered. Porgy is arrested. Released, he returns, rich from a crap game, but Bess has run off with oily drug dealer Sportin' Life.
And the end result, other than angst and sadness?
A mostly black cast displaying a lot of beefcake. Muscular, semi-nude Joshua Henry (top photo, from Dream Girls), Norm Lewis (second photo), Donovan Singletary (left). Black beefcake is rare on screen, and even more rare on stage, except maybe in productions of The Wiz.
And gay symbolism: every woman has her man, and mourns him when he is killed or put in prison, which always happens. Men are always unfaithful to their women. Relationships are always temporary; "a woman is a sometime thing."
What remains are men together, singing joyfully as they play craps or head out to the sea in ships.
What remains are women together, singing mournfully as they comfort each other over their losses.
Same-sex romance is, in the end, valued.