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Oklahoma City University Presents American Opera Classic, Street Scene By Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes, Nov. 15-17

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staff report

A cast of 40 singers will present Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene,” the first opera to win a Tony Award for best original score, Nov. 15-17 at Oklahoma City University’s historic Kirkpatrick Auditorium. The American classic — with lyrics by Langston Hughes, based on Elmer Rice’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play — unfolds on Manhattan’s Lower East Side over two steamy days in June 1946.

“Street Scene’s music has the feel of a golden-age movie, with Selznick-like passion,” director David Herendeen said. “Weill’s synthesis of opera and Broadway combines art song with catchy jazz, blues and bebop and big choruses in a melting pot of verismo tragedy.” The score will be performed by OCU’s Oklahoma Opera Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Mailman.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee, preceded by a director’s talk by Herendeen 45 minutes before curtain. Tickets ($12-25) are available from 405.208.5227 or

Opening night dinner will be held at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in the Atrium of the Bass Music Center. Reservations ($20) may be made by calling 405.208.5227.

The “Street Scene” plot follows the lives of the Maurrant family: the desperate Anna, her jealous husband, and their daughter, Rose, who is about to embark on romance against the tapestry of her New York neighbors and the intertwining threads of their lives.

The 62nd season of  OCU’s Opera and Music Theater Company continues its season of American works in 2014 with the Oklahoma premiere of Ned Rorem’s operatic interpretation of  Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” Feb. 21-23, (Kirkpatrick, $12-25); “The Tender Land,” March 7-9, from Aaron Copland (spotlight musical, Burg, $10); and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning “South Pacific,” April 24-27, a co-production with Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (Kirkpatrick, $15-35).

For more information on events at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, visit or

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