Exciting productions of Street Scene have become old news, but the latest from Teatro Real in Madrid should quicken the pulse of the most jaded Weill fan. Opening on 13 February, Patricia Racette and 2008 Tony winner Paulo Szot take the stage as Mrs. and Mr. Maurrant, respectively, powering the latest staging from British director John Fulljames. Not only will Racette and Szot be making their first appearances in Street Scene, it will be the first Weill stage work for either of them, period. (Racette’s lifelong commitment to Puccini serves her well; Weill himself pointed out that Puccini might have composed his own Street Scene opera had he not died before the original play was written.) The other lead roles are filled by Mary Bevan (Rose Maurrant) and Joel Prieto (Sam Kaplan), with a supporting cast composed mainly of both British and Spanish singers.
Fulljames and conductor Tim Murray have quite a history with Street Scene. This will be Fulljames’s third go at it; the first time, in 2008, he headed a co-production of London’s Young Vic and Opera Group; in 2013 he toured it to Paris and Barcelona, with Murray leading the orchestra. Both productions received extensive acclaim despite limited resources; this entirely new one, an international co-production of Teatro Real, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and Oper Köln, gives Weill’s Broadway opera the forces it deserves and promises still greater things. The 16 February performance is set for live broadcast over Mezzo Live HD.
In 2010, Teatro Real mounted a memorable production of Weill and Brecht’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (in English), still available on home video on Bel Air Classiques BAC 067. They are poised to do it again. In addition to the ten scheduled performances, the theater and affiliated groups offer a number of related programs, notably a series of three conferences on Weill’s Broadway shows, film screenings, lectures, readings, and a thirty-hour course on the Harlem Renaissance, one of whose leading lights was lyricist Langston Hughes.
Teatro Real press conference, 7 February 2018
Blog post by Artistic Director Joan Matabosch
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