NORFOLK, Va. – Along with a few classic cars (eg.’64 Buick and ’67 T-Bird) onsite, Doumar’s, which opened in 1934, provides the perfect backdrop for the Ice Cream Sextet from Kurt Weil’s opera “Street Scene,” set in the post-WWII era United States.
Cast members from the Virginia Opera will perform excerpts from the opera from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Monday at Doumar’s, located on Monticello Avenue in the Ghent section of Norfolk.
Based on American playwright Elmer Rice’s original 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, legendary composer Kurt Weill’s adaptation of “Street Scene” features a musical score steeped in jazz, Broadway show-stoppers and full-throated passages of verismo lyricism penned by renowned African-American, Harlem Renaissance-era poet and writer Langston Hughes.
Mixing comedy, romance and, ultimately, tragedy, “Street Scene” presents a cast of characters as they live, love and strive for happiness in the shadow of a New York City tenement in the sweltering summer heat. According to a release by the Virginia Opera, the setting affirms German-born Weill’s profound belief that any “real” American opera must, like the American society that spawned it, represent a melting pot of diverse styles and voices where even seemingly minor characters play vital roles.
“Street Scene” makes its debut Friday, September 28, and will kick off the Virginia Opera’s 44th season.