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Is it an opera? Is it a musical? The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music classes Street Scene as an American Opera, so let’s go with that. It is a fabulous slice of life in a sweltering New York tenement that teems with multicultural interaction and particularly focuses on one unhappy family, the Maurrants. Weill’s zippy music covers jazz, opera and Broadway, and Langston Hughes’ lyrics sing beautifully. There is a real emotional punch to the work, and anyone interested in C20th American music should enjoy this complex production by John Fulljames, filmed in Madrid in 2018. He pulls out all of the strands and highlights each character, but places them against the larger scale of the neighborhood, and the cast acts, sings and dances its collective socks off. Patricia Racette and Paulo Szot are intense as the warring Maurrants: daughter Mary Bevan shows mettle and has some melting duets with her suitor, the romantic Joel Prieto. But ultimately it is an ensemble piece and there isn’t a weak link here. Tim Murray’s conducting helps pull it all together, ranging from torch song to jitterbug to chorus.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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