Street Scene

Kurt Weill

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Following Government advice of Monday 16 March about COVID-19, please note that Theatre Royal in Nottingham will now be closed until Sunday 12 April, and Opera North’s performances will be cancelled. Ticket holders will be contacted directly. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Find out more »


In a city that never sleeps, it doesn’t pay to have a dream…

On a stiflingly hot summer’s day in New York, a family is pushed to breaking point. Frank is angry at a world that’s changing too fast, his daughter Rose longs for a better life away from the squalor of the city, and his unhappy wife Anna struggles with a terrible secret that could tear them all apart… As the heat builds, the tension erupts into violence and their lives are changed forever.

Weill’s richly-varied score blends opera with the music of golden-age Broadway. Soaring arias and duets rub shoulders with jazz and the jitterbug, and Puccini shakes hands with Gershwin. With numbers such as ‘Lonely House’ and ‘Moon-faced, Starry-eyed’, it’s little wonder that Street Scene was awarded Best Original Score at the first Tony Awards in 1947.

“…impeccable… a special show that I’d pay to see again.”
★★★★★ — The Times

“…a true ensemble achievement… unforgettable.”
★★★★★ — The Arts Desk

“…real dramatic fire… engaging music theatre, beautifully done.”
★★★★ —  The Guardian

“…persuasively conducted… beautifully delivered…”
★★★★ — The Observer

£15 to £79.50*

Running time
Approximately 2 hours 45 minutes

Sung in English

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Accessible performances are available
Get £10 tickets with our Under 30s scheme

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

A co-production with Theater Magdeburg
Supported by a generous gift from
The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Funded in part by the
Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY



Manhattan is in the throes of a heatwave and in a crowded tenement house, the residents go about their daily business. Three women gossip about their neighbour, Anna Maurrant. Rumour is she’s having an affair with Sankey the milkman. Anna’s husband Frank returns home, angry that his daughter Rose is still out.

Another neighbour, Lippo Fiorentino returns home from work with an armful of ice cream cones for everybody, before Jennie Hildebrand and other high-school girls enter coming home from their graduation ceremony.

That night, young Sam Kaplan is crippling lonely. Rose is walked home by her boss, who tries to persuade her to run away with him. She refuses. Meanwhile, young Mae Jones and her boyfriend Dick McGann return home – they have been drinking and dance a high-energy jitterbug. Rose is harassed by Mae’s brother Vincent. Sam comes to her defence and is knocked down, but Rose comforts him.

The next day, Frank Maurrant leaves town on business and Sam tries to convince Rose to elope with him. With her husband gone, Anna invites Sankey up to her apartment but suddenly Frank reappears. In a blind rage, he shoots them both. Rose returns just in time to see her mortally wounded mother carried off on a stretcher.

Later that day, Frank is apprehended by the police. He shares a moment of reconciliation with Rose before being taken away. Sam again tries to persuade Rose to escape the Manhattan slums with him, but she decides she needs a clean break and must leave on her own.

As the sun sets and yet another day ends, the other residents return to gossiping and complaining about the heat.

Audio notes

The following audio notes give detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances.

These are to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!

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Street Scene

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