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Weill's Street Scene wins “Diamant de l'Opéra”

A truly American opera by Kurt Weill, half-way between his “Threepenny’s Opera” and Bernstein's later “West Side Story”, filmed at Teatro Real (Madrid).

  • BAC162 BAC562 STREET SCENE | Copyright: © Bel Air Classiques

    BAC162 BAC562 STREET SCENE © Bel Air Classiques

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 shoots 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.

The exceptional quality of this recording earned it the “Diamant” of OPÉRA MAGAZINE.

Original title Street Scene
Genre Opera
Recording location Teatro Real (Madrid)
Recording date 2018
Production year 2019
Duration 160 min
Video format Color, 16:9, NTSC (DVD) / Full HD (Blu-ray)
Audio format PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD) / DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (Blu-ray)
TV Director Jérémie Cuvillier
Composer Kurt Weill
Orchestra / Band Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Real - Madrid
Conductor Tim Murray
Stage Director John Fulljames
Choreography by Arthur Pita
Soloist Paulo Szot
Soloist Patricia Racette
Soloist Mary Bevan
Soloist Joel Prieto
Soloist Lucy Schaufer
Soloist Jeni Bern
Soloist Michael J. Scott
Soloist Tyler Clarke
Soloist Marta Fontanals-Simmons
Distribution DVD Naxos Distribution

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