Street Scene

Opera

Writers: Kurt Weill Langston Hughes

Context

Based on Elmer Rice’s 1929 play of the same name, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene tells the story of the event over two very hot days in June in a six-story walk-up, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. Weill and Hughes, the librettist, bring the story forward to 1946 to capture the changing society post World War Two.

The community of this particular house is a microcosm of the society of the time, and so is composed of migrants from every wave of immigration into America, all living on or close to the bread line. This melting pot creates some racial tension, and there is a significant

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