You might be right about that. However right now I don't care about how much of an accomplishment it is. I'd just rather watch the better version before the weaker adaptation. Maybe after I've watched both of them I'd be more inclined to discuss the actual accomplishment or lack thereof.
Porgy and Bess is somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to operas. There have been so many adaptations since its original Broadway debut in 1935 (with Todd Duncan and Anne Brown) which lasted 124 performances.at over 4 hours in length. The show went on tour from Jan to Mar 1937, ending in Washington, D.C. where it was credited with being the first ever integrated audience at a performance in that venue. A drastically cut version was revived in 1942 with the original cast. Brown was replaced by Etta Moten, whom Ira Gershwin wanted to begin with, and ran for 9 months with a much better reception and actually made money. Ran in Europe in 1943 with an all-white cast in black-face for 22 sold out performances until the Nazis shut them down. There have been tons of stage productions through the years and continuing to present day...some you can even view online.
Sorry for my long-winded way of getting to my point (Bi-Polar you know) which concerns the 1959 Otto Preminger adaptation. Although it won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, none were for acting. Although they had an amazing cast of dramatic actors and actresses, not one of them could sing. This was an opera for gosh sake!!! Any avid movie musical fan will tell you that lip-syncing, if not performed perfectly, can kill the whole experience. It definitely warranted merit in the area of acting however, in my opinion, it fell short in the musical production department.