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CCM's Mainstage Opera Series Presents Kurt Weill's 'Street Scene'


Running Nov. 15-18, 'Street Scene' features the talents of students across a variety of disciplines in one of Kurt Weill's most beloved works. This production is the latest installment in CCM's year-long Kurt Weill Festival.

Date: 11/9/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Lillian Matchett
Other Contact: Curt Whitacre
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-2683
Photos By: Mark Lyons

UC ingot  
Second-year Artist's Diploma student Meghan Tarkington as Rose Maurrant in CCM's first-ever production of 'Street Scene.'
Second-year Artist's Diploma student Meghan Tarkington as Rose Maurrant in CCM's first-ever production of 'Street Scene.'

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) makes history this month as it proudly presents Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice’s Tony-Award winning opera Street Scene Nov. 15-18 in UC's Patricia Corbett Theater. The American opera in two acts presents a simple, yet dramatic story of a mid-century Manhattan neighborhood, and CCM’s performance combines the forces of hundreds of students across several departments. Due to Street Scene's incredible scale, CCM has never before presented this great American opera. This historic production is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music Inc. Mark Gibson conducts with stage direction by Steven Goldstein. Street Scene will be sung in English without supertitles.

Based on Elmer Rice’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of the same name, Street Scene portrays a New York City tenement house between one evening and the next, bringing to life a wide range of multi-ethnic characters and two very different but intertwined love stories. A stirring synthesis of European traditional opera and American musical theatre, the work is considered by many to be Kurt Weill’s greatest masterpiece. “What makes this piece work is the gritty reality of it,” says director Steven Goldstein. “It’s a slice of life view on this very classical Greek tragedy inside this structure of 24 hours in one place.” The action focuses on the Maurrant family, their romances both in and out of marriage, and the resulting neighborhood squabbles and gossip.

This production of Street Scene is part of CCM’s year-long Kurt Weill Festival, which will also include a fully staged production of Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, cabaret performances, collaborative concerts, master classes, visiting scholars and more. Throughout the year, the festival will involve hundreds of CCM students from the opera, musical theatre, drama, performance studies, ensembles and conducting, theatre design and production, preparatory and e-media departments. The production of Street Scene alone involves the talents of more than 200 CCM students. “It’s fantastically rewarding,” explains Goldstein. “It involves not just the opera students, but the musical theatre and drama students as well; it’s exposing many students to the work.”

For second-year master’s student Nicole Spoltore, playing the matriarch of the Maurrant family trying to conceal an extra-marital affair from her hot-tempered husband, the opportunity to work with many different kinds of talent has been invaluable to her CCM experience. “They hold you to a higher standard and it’s really motivational to be around all of these incredible people who make up CCM,” she says. In the opera and specifically in her character, Spoltore sees many elements of real life, stating that “Anna Maurant always dreams of this happiness she may someday find. It never comes into fruition … but she holds onto that hope, and I think that’s what the opera is about.”

This production is dedicated to the memory of Malcolm Fraser (1939-2012), former J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera at CCM. You can learn more about Fraser's lasting impact on CCM Opera by visiting http://ccmpr.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/in-memoriam-former-ccm-opera-department-chair-malcolm-fraser.

For more information about Kurt Weill Festival events, visit: www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=16709

About Steven Goldstein
CCM Associate Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting, Steven Goldstein is a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company in New York, where he studied acting and life with David Mamet and William H. Macy. He is a professional actor on film, stage and television; a professional singer in opera houses both in the US and internationally; and a director of both theater and opera.

His performance highlights include Our Town on Broadway with Spalding Gray; the premiers of Boy’s Life, Oh Hell and The Lights at the Lincoln Center Theatre; Romance (premier), The Vosey Inheritance, The Water Engine and Shaker Heights (premier) at the Atlantic Theater Company; Romance and Keep Your Pantheon (premier) at the LA Theater Center; Intimate Apparel (premier) at Center Stage Baltimore; and Harmony (premier) at La Jolla Playhouse. As a professional singer, Goldstein made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2011 and has sung in many performances with the New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, LA Opera, Vancouver Opera, Cleveland Opera, Israeli Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and Gotham Chamber Opera. Goldstein has appeared in TV shows including Quarterlife, Law & Order and The Guiding Light. He has appeared in films including The Untouchables, Signs and Wonders, The Spanish Prisoner, The Night We Never Met, Homicide, House of Games and Things Change.

His directing credits at CCM include the musical theatre productions Spring Awakening, A Little Night Music and Hello Again, as well as the operas La Tragedié de Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites and Die Fledermaus. Goldstein holds a BFA with honors from New York University.

About the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music Inc. administers, promotes and perpetuates the legacies of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. It encourages broad dissemination and appreciation of Weill’s music through support of performances, productions, recordings and scholarship; it fosters understanding of Weill’s and Lenya’s lives and work within diverse cultural contexts; and, building upon the legacies of both, it nurtures talent, particularly in the creation, performance and study of musical theater in its various manifestations and media. Learn more about the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music by visiting www.kwf.org.

Performance Times
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 *
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

*Note: The Nov. 15 performance of Street Scene will be preceded by a free pre-show lecture by Kurt Weill Foundation President Kim Kowalke at 7:15 p.m. in the Baur Room.

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Street Scene are $30 for adults, $19 for non-UC students and $17 for UC students with valid ID. Mainstage Series subscriptions packages are also available.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

Funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

ArtsWave: Community Partner

Macy’s: Mainstage Season Production Sponsor