Street Scene
Composer: Kurt Weill
Composer Bio: Kurt Julian Weill (March 2, 1900 – April 3, 1950) was a German-Jewish composer, growing up in a religious household. He began piano lessons at 12 and immediately began experimenting with his own compositions. His early success came with his non-stage works though he gravitated toward vocal music and musical theatre. He fled Nazi Germany in 1933, denounced for his socialist views despite being a popular composer. Traveling to Paris, London, and the US he eventually became a United States citizen in 1943. His ideals of writing music that served a socially useful purpose followed him in his travels and he wrote Down in the Valley and other songs in support of the American war effort. Weill died of a heart attack in New York City. His music is still popular sixty years after his death.
Librettist: Elmer Rice
Other Artistic Personnel: Broadway Production:
Charles Friedman (Director)
Anna Sokolow (Choreogrpaher)
Jo Mielziner (Set/Lighting Designer)
Lucinda Ballard (Costume Designer)
Original Cast: Broadway Cast:
Anne Jeffreys (Rose Maurrant)
Polyna Stoska (Anna Maurrant)
Norman Cordon (Frank Maurrant)
Brian Sullivan (Sam Kaplan)
Hope Emerson (Emma Jones)
Sheila Bond (Mae Jones)
Danny Daniels (Dick McGann)
Premiere Date: December 16, 1946
Producing Company: Broadway
Description: The opera is set in the 1930s, in front of a tenement on the Lower East Side of New York City. The neighborhood is populated by many different nationalities: an ebullient Italian, a fat, comfortable Hausfrau, a thick-headed Swedish couple, a left-wing Russian Jew, and hardened Americans who despise the foreigners. Of the opera, Weill wrote, "Street Scene is about life in a street of New York. We see, in the beginning, the women who live in the house, sitting on the steps, complaining about the heat, talking to the janitor who comes up from the cellar singing his blues song, gossiping about Mrs. Maurrant's love life, and making fun of young Buchanan whose wife is having a baby. Then we hear Mrs. Maurrant's aria expressing her troubled mind and her secret desires; the song of the young girls coming home from the graduation exercises; Sam Kaplan's song of adolescent melancholy; then Rose Maurrant's scene with her 'boss,' Mr. Easter, who is trying to lure her into a different sort of life; Rose's decision to live her own kind of life; and the scene of young love between Rose and Sam, dreaming of lilac bushes and happiness. The second act opens with the morning music, the awakening of the house and the 'Children's Game,' and goes on to Mrs. Maurrant's touching song to her little son, a passionate duet of the two lovers, Sam and Rose, who have decided to take life in their own hands, and the horror-stricken death scene of Mrs. Maurrant. In the last scene we see two nursemaids trying to sing the babies to sleep, while at the same time gossiping about their parents; Rose meeting, for the last time, her father who has killed his wife and is being taken away by the police, and finally, Rose saying goodbye to the one she loves.
Character List (Major): Rose Maurrant (s)
Sam Kaplan (t)
Anna Maurrant (s)
Frank Maurrant (bb)
Greta Fiorentino (s)
Emma Jones (mz)
Harry Easter (bar)
Character List (Minor): Olga Olson (con)
Carl Olsen (b)
Henry Davis (bar)
Daniel Buchanan (t)
Lippo Fiorentino (t)
Mae Jones (dancer/singer)
Dick McGann (dancer/singer)
Bit Parts: Jennie Hildebrand (mz)
Abraham Kaplan (t)
George Jones (bar)
Willie Maurrant (treble)
Mrs. Hildebrand (mz)
Nursemaid #1 (s)
Nursemaid #2 (mz)
Graduate #1 (s)
Graduate #2 (mz)
Shirley Kaplan (actor)
Steve Sankey (actor)
Vincent Jones (actor)
Dr. Wilson (actor)
Officer Murphy (actor)
City Marshall (actor)
Fred Cullen (actor)
Reviews: The New Yorker, Andrew Porter, 11-13-78; The New York Times, Bernard Holland, 9-7-90; The New York Times, Allan Kozinn, 9-9-90; The New Yorker, Andrew Porter, 10-27-79; The New York Times, John Rockwell, 11-12-78; The New York Times, John S. Wilson, 1-10-82; The New York Times, Joseph Horowitz, 10-26-79.
Comments: Weill received the first Tony Award for Best Original Score, and Ballard received the 1947 Tony Award for Best Costume Design.
Video Clip:
Length: 02:30
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: SATB Chorus (AGMA minimum 18)
Many bit parts can be sung by chorus.
Orchestration: fl, ob, 2 cl, bcl, bsn - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn, hrp - pf, perc - str
Ballet/Dance: 2 dancer/singers
Musical Style: Occasional suggestions of jazz and blues, Gershwin and Cole Porter, Broadway numbers, and boogie woogie; contains demanding arias and ensembles.
Contact: Chappell and Company, distributed by Hal Leonard Publishing Company
Phone: 414-774-3630
Publisher Web Site: www.halleonard.com
Schedule of Performances Listings
Street Scene (Weill)
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Opera North (U.S.)
Street Scene (Weill)
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater
Street Scene (Weill)
Thursday, June 15, 2006 - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Street Scene (Weill)
Friday, November 25, 2005 - Maine Grand Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Saturday, March 26, 2005 - Portland Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Friday, March 14, 2003 - Eugene Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Saturday, February 16, 2002 - Pittsburgh Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - Lyric Opera of Chicago
Street Scene (Weill)
Saturday, February 24, 2001 - Minnesota Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Friday, August 18, 2000 - Chautauqua Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Saturday, July 10, 1999 - Central City Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Saturday, June 26, 1999 - Des Moines Metro Opera
Street Scene (Weill)
Friday, January 28, 1994 - Houston Grand Opera
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