UNT opera director brings his expertise of Weill to interpretation of “Street Scene”

DENTON (UNT), Texas - Jonathan Eaton, University of North Texas College of Music Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies, wants to transport his audience to a New York tenement in the sweltering summer of 1946 for a classic American story of love and loss, heartbreak and hope when he presents Kurt Weill’s classic, “Street Scene.”

“One of the fascinating things about ‘Street Scene’ is that the story is located in a gritty, urban, dirty, somewhat ugly, claustrophobic tenement environment with little light penetrating between the columns of the buildings into the canyons in between and no nature,” Eaton said. “Yet the piece is shot through with a different sort of light – human emotions, light-hearted moments, young love, old love, dying love – human nature. We welcome you to a dark urban world transfused by light.”

“Street Scene” is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Elmer Rice and the Tony Award-winning so-called “Broadway opera” features Weill’s inimitable jazz-inspired music and a uniquely American melting pot of characters.

“Their stories weave in and out in an almost cinematic kaleidoscope of lives and loves,” Eaton said. “Weill gives us a cross-section of humanity in all its richness, squalor, joy, banality and glory.”


What: UNT Opera director, the internationally known Jonathan Eaton, brings his expertise of Kurt Weill’s work to his interpretation of “Street Scene,” with opera music director Stephen Dubberly.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 22-24 (Thursday-Saturday) and 3 p.m. Feb. 25 (Sunday). "In the Know" lecture 45 minutes before each performance.

Where: Lyric Theater at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 Interstate 35E in Denton. The event also will be streamed live at https://recording.music.unt.edu/.

Tickets: $35 includes dessert and wine; $25-$15 for all other seats at www.thempac.com. Discounts available for senior citizens; students; children; UNT faculty, staff and retirees; and groups of 10 or more.

Parking: Free parking will be available in the lot next to the MPAC, with overflow parking available in lots 4 and 26. View the UNT parking map here.


Dubberly will direct music for the opera, which will be presented in English.