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The premiere at the Teatro Real of Street Scene, by Kurt Weill, will be one of the important events of this season. With the libretto by Elmer Rice, based on a story by the same name (Pulitzer Prize-winning play 1929), and the song lyrics by Langston Hughe, Street Scene narrates a series of anonymous lives in a big city from a brutally realistic viewpoint.

This was Weill’s first opera composed during his American exile years and he referred to it as an “American opera”; in it, the Broadway musical, North American jazz and European traditional opera converge.

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American opera

Music by Kurt Weill (1900-1950)
Libretto by Elmer Rice, after his play of the same name (1929), with lyrics by  Elmer Rice and Langston Hughes
By arrangement with European American Music Corporation, represented by Universal Edition AG, Vienna

Premiered at the Adelphi Theatre of Broadway (New York) on 9 January 1947

Premiere at the Teatro Real
New production by the Teatro Real, in co-production with the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and the Oper Köln

Principal Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real

(Coro Intermezzo / Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid)
Pequeños Cantores de la ORCAM

Approximate running time

2 hours and 55 minutes
Act I: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Intermission: 25 minutes
Act II: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Street Scene on Mezzo Live HD

On 16 February, at 8pm, Mezzo Live HD will broadcast Street Scene, by Kurt Weill, live from the Teatro Real.

Starting Point

The doorstep of a tenement on the East Side of New York is the setting for a multitude of precarious lives and situations, all too often pushed to the limits. Romance, disputes, gossip mongering, betrayals and constant tension mark the routines of this community of neighbours, making Street Scene a work with an important degree of social protest. Besides, this was the first opera that Kurt Weill composed after he arrived in the United States, having fled from Nazi persecution. Prestigious dramaturg, Elmer Rice wrote the libretto based on his play by the same name, this had already met with great success and had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929.

Weill's score combined the essence of Broadway Musicals and North American jazz, without forgetting the traditional European opera - recitatives, arias, ensemble - in which he had been immersed before crossing the Atlantic to never look back. Together, Weill and Rice achieved a work about everyday life in a big city that was brutally realistic but that also communicated a great sense of poetry. 

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Tim Murray
  • Stage director: John Fulljames
  • Associate director: Lucy Bradley
  • Set and costume designer: Dick Bird
  • Choreographer: Arthur Pita
  • Lighting designer: James Farncombe
  • Sound design: Poti Martin
  • Chorus Master: Andrés Máspero
  • Children's Chorus Master: Ana González
· - ·
  • Abraham Kaplan: Geoffrey Dolton
  • Greta Fiorentino: Jeni Bern
  • Carl Olsen: Scott Wilde
  • Emma Jones: Lucy Schaufer
  • Olga Olsen : Harriet Williams
  • Henry Davis: Eric Greene (Feb. 13, 14, 16, 17, 18)
    Mandisinde Mbuyanzwe (May. 26, 27, 29, 30 · Jun. 1)
  • Anna Maurrant: Patricia Racette
  • Sam Kaplan: Joel Prieto
  • Daniel Buchanan: Tyler Clarke
  • Frank Maurrant: Paulo Szot
  • George Jones: Gerardo Bullón
  • Lippo Fiorentino: Michael J. Scott (Feb. 13, 14, 16, 17, 18)
    Vicente Ombuena (May. 26, 27, 29, 30 · Jun. 1)
  • Jennie Hildebrand: Marta Fontanals-Simmons (Feb. 13, 14, 16, 17, 18)
    Katie Coventry (May. 26, 27, 29, 30 · Jun. 1)
  • Rose Maurrant: Mary Bevan
  • Harry Easter: Richard Burkhard (Feb. 13, 14, 16, 17, 18)
    Marcus Farnsworth (May. 26, 27, 29, 30 · Jun. 1)
  • Mae West / First Nursemaid: Sarah-Marie Maxwell
  • Dick McGann: Dominic Lamb
  • Second Nursemaid: Laurel Dougall

Programme of show

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Performance Dates

  • 13 FEB (T) 21:00h
  • 14 FEB (W) 21:00h
  • 16 FEB (F) 21:00h
  • 17 FEB (S) 21:00h
  • 18 FEB (S) 19:00h
  • 26 MAY (S) 22:00h
  • 27 MAY (S) 20:00h
  • 29 MAY (T) 22:00h
  • 30 MAY (W) 22:00h
  • 1 JUN (F) 22:00h
  • Place: Main Auditorium