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Lyric Opera of Baltimore

Weill's 'Street Scene' offers incisive slice of urban life

Weill's 'Street Scene' offers incisive slice of urban life

An opera that often sounds like a musical, or a musical that often sounds like an opera, "Street Scene" adds up to a singular achievement no matter how it is defined. Kurt Weill, the German-born composer who became an American after fleeing the Nazis, poured some of his most brilliant music into the piece.

With a book by Elmer Rice, based on his 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Street Scene," and lyrics by Langston Hughes, "Street Scene" enjoyed only a modest run on Broadway in 1947. But it was soon widely recognized as the masterwork of Weill's years in this country, worthy of mention alongside his groundbreaking "Threepenny Opera" from...