Weill : Street Scene

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Street Scene, an “American opera” by Kurt Weill, recipient of the first Tony Award, revived at Teatro Real – Madrid by Tim Murray and John Fulljames.

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Weill : Street Scene

Kurt Weill wrote Street Scene shortly after fleeing Nazi Germany to the United States. When he discovered the vitality of the American musical scene, his focus became to reconcile the Broadway “musical” with European traditional opera, jazzy and North-American tunes with an almost Puccinian-like lyricism. In his mind, opera had to embrace and reclaim its own theatricality : thus he wrote his Street Scene, meant to be a truly American opera, half-way between his Brechtian Threepenny’s Opera and Bernstein’s later West Side Story and drawing from the famous play by Elmer Rice (recipient of the Pulitzer Price when it was published in 1928).

The main plot of this rampant collection of scenes from the streets of the lower East Side of New York revolves around Frank and Anna Maurrant and their daughter Rose. A violent and tough character, Frank fails to see his wife’s growing despair due to his lack of affection. When he discovers her with her lover, he shots them both and goes to jail, leaving behind a heartbroken Rose who, after having experienced relentless harassment by two aggressive suitors, misses her one true chance at love. The opera ends by showing the streets of New York City moving on from these mundane events in total indifference.

Under Tim Murray’s vivid and precise baton, this superb production by John Fulljames perfectly renders the vitality and energy released by the streets of New York, that proved to be a great inspiration to the theatrical mind of the composer.


Weill : Street Scene [DVD & Blu-ray]

An American Opera in two acts (1947)

Music : Kurt Weill (1900-1950)
Libretto : Elmer Rice after his own eponymous play
Lyrics : Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice

Frank Maurrant Paulo Szot
Anna Maurrant Patricia Racette
Rose Maurrant Mary Bevan
Sam Kaplan Joel Prieto
Emma Jones Lucy Schaufer
Greta Fiorentino Jeni Bern
Lippo Fiorentino Michael J. Scott
Daniel Buchanan Tyler Clarke
Jennie Hildebrand Marta Fontanals-Simmons
Henry Davis Eric Greene
Harry Easter Richard Burkhard
Mae Jones Sarah-Marie Maxwell
Dick McGann Dominic Lamb

Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Real de Madrid
Pequeños y Jóvenes Cantores de la JORCAM

Conducted by : Tim Murray

Stage direction : John Fulljames

Set and Costume Design Dick Bird
Lighting Design James Farncombe
Choreography Arthur Pita
Associate Director Lucy Bradley
Sound Design Poti Martin
Chorus Master Andrés Máspero

Image gallery
Press review

“There is a real emotional punch to the work, and anyone interested in C20th American music should enjoy this complex production by John Fulljames.” – Opera Now

The conductor Tim Murray…allows the more dramatic passages full weight but at the same time relishes the more light-hearted sections…A thoroughly enjoyable experience” – Music Web International

Technical informations

HD recording : Teatro Real – Madrid | 02/2018
TV direction : Jérémie Cuvillier
Release date
: 22 November 2019
Distribution : Naxos Distribution

: BAC162
Barcode : 3760115301627
Running time : 160 min.
Booklet : FR / ENG / SPA
Subtitles : FR / ENG / GER / SPA / JAP / KOR
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region code : 0

Reference : BAC562
Barcode : 3760115305625
Running time : 160 min.
Booklet : FR / ENG / SPA
Subtitles : FR / ENG / GER / SPA / JAP / KOR
Image : Color, 16/9, Full HD
Sound : PCM 2.0, DTS HD Master audio 5.1
Region code : A, B, C

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