The Second Hurricane
Composer: Aaron Copland
Librettist: Edwin Denby
Other Artistic Personnel: Orson Welles (Production Manager)
Lehman Engel (Conductor)

1985 Revival:
Tazewell Thompson (Director and Choreographer)
Charles Barker (Conductor)
Dianne Adams (Vocal Director)
Backstage detritus plus props and backdrops by noted artists: Rudy Burckhardt, John Cage, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Red Grooms, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Bill King, Larry Rivers, Pat Steir, Robert Wilson and Edwin Denby
Steve Saklad (Set Designer)
Dan Kotlowitz (Lighting Designer)
Original Cast: Original Cast: Joseph Cotton, Virgil Thomson. 1985 revival cast: Lia Alexi, Kevin Goetz, Nancy Hume, Mark Leinthall, Gary Rosenblatt, Crist Swann, Barbara Wilder and Roland LaRoy Wright
Premiere Date: April 21, 1937
Producing Company: Music School of the Henry Street Settlement
Description: There has been a hurricane and a flood. An aviator comes to a high school to ask students to be volunteers on a rescue mission. On the way to the disaster area the plane develops engine trouble and is forced to land in a desolate stretch of country near a flood-swollen river. The students are told to unload the supplies and carry them to the top of a nearby hill where they will be safe from the flood waters. The pilot then returns to repair his plane. Left alone, the young people quarrel over who is to assume the leadership of their group. A small boy, Jeff, wanders in lost and hungry. One of the girls gives him some food from their store of food and thereby antagonizes the others, who feel that she had no right to distribute the supplies before having made contact with the disaster victims. In the midst of these bickerings, a second hurricane strikes. For a while, the young people are in serious danger. The storm passes, leaving them frightened but unharmed. Their narrow escape from death gives them an insight into the pettiness and unimportance of their quarrels. By the time the pilot returns, they have come to learn that cooperation and unselfishness are synonymous with happiness and freedom.
Character List (Major): Butch(t)
Mr. Maclenahan(speaking)
Miss Eulalie(speaking)
Reviews: International Herald Tribune, James Hehne Sutcliffe, 6-22-90; The New York Times, John Rockwell, 11-15-85; New York Herald Tribune, Francis Perkins, [n.d.]; New York Herald Tribune, Paul Henry Lang, [n.d.]; New York World Telegram, Pitts Sanborn, [n.d.]; New York Sun, Irving Kolodin, [n.d.]
Length: 00:53
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Mixed Chorus: High School Pupils, Parents, Grammar School Pupils
Orchestration: 1 fl(=picc), 1 ob, 2 cl, asax(=tsax), 1 bsn - 2 tpt, 1 tbn - timp, perc - pf, musical saw (theremin) - str
Musical Style: Colorful orchestration; contemporary harmonies; use of continuous melody; some jazz influence
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
The Second Hurricane (Copland)
Friday, May 18, 2001 - Sarasota Opera
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