Live from Lincoln Center: Season 5, Episode 2

New York City Opera: Street Scene (27 Oct. 1979)

TV Episode  |   |  Music, Musical
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Eileen Schauler ...
William Chapman ...
Catherine Malfitano ...
Alan Kays ...
Harlan Foss ...
Bronwyn Thomas ...
Reed Jones ...
Martha Thigpen ...
Greta Fiorentino
Ralph Bassett ...
Carl Olsen
Leo Postrel ...
Timothy Eaton ...
Willie Maurrant
Norman Large ...
Daniel Buchanan
Robert Paul ...
George Jones
William Ledbetter ...
Steve Sankey
Jonathan Green ...


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Music | Musical





Release Date:

27 October 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "Street Scene" by Elmer Rice opened on January 10, 1929 at the Playhouse Theater, ran for 601 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1929 See more »


Version of Street Scene (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Riveting, one of the best productions New York City Opera ever did
29 December 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Street Scene is a really quite wonderful work and a fine addition to "American" opera, and to be honest I prefer it to Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. That is still great in itself and has a lot of political and satirical themes and Kurt Weill's style has grown on me, but Street Scene personally is more compelling and has more emotional impact and the music maybe more accessible.

This New York City Opera production is nothing short of riveting, this production of Street Scene was during a period where NYCO were in their prime and it stood out as among the best of what NYCO performed during this period. The costumes are very 1940s and most attractive, and the set used is very like how you'd expect a Manhattan tenement to be. The drama in the very eventful story is constantly tense and poignant and always in a way, even when with a lot of Act 1 setting up the characters, that's exciting and emotionally investing as well. The staging shows those qualities brilliantly, the two main plot-lines are beautifully depicted with the one with Rose and Sam being quite affecting and the other with the extra-marital affair and its tragic consequences being as tense and tragic as it ought. The spoken dialogue is delivered with evident connection to the words and drama and spoken in a way that could easily been sung.

Musically, it's outstanding. Weill's music is wonderful here, with a couple of arias sounding like they could easily have come from Puccini but other parts of the score sound like they have Broadway, jazz and blues influences. The orchestra play attentively and with real dramatic awareness, solo arias are sympathetically accompanied while larger ensembles and key dramatic scenes are played with force. The chorus balance well and sing charmingly, their acting is strong with evidence of individualism. The conducting is controlled and tightly paced but lets the music breathe when it needs to. Street Scene has a large cast who are vocally and dramatically top-notch, all with an individual and memorable personality, from the lead down to the smallest role.

Focusing on the four leads who have the lion's share of the music. Eileen Schauler sings with plummy richness perfect for the dramatic nature of the role and plays Anna sympathetically. William Chapman is a scarily brutish Frank with a warm quality to his voice that would be at home in both opera and Broadway(the I Love You Too scene was moving though and the one time where I did feel some sympathy towards him. Catherine Malfitano before she sang Tosca and Salome is touching as Rose, her warm youthful voice sounding comfortable in both the lyric and dramatic passages. And Alan Kays' Sam is ardently sung(Lonely House is heart-wrenching) and likeably played. All in all, a riveting production. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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