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Libretto by Edwin Denby (E)


2S,A,2T,Bar,B,3adult speakers; mixed chorus
glsp/xyl/tgl/tam-t-pft-musical saw (theremin)-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
At The Playhouse, 466 Grand Street, New York, New York
Orson Welles, director
Conductor: Lehman Engel
Company: Music School of the Henry Street Settlement


BUTCH, a new kid in town Tenor
FAT, a bully Bass
GYP, Fat's younger brother Baritone
LOWRIE, egghead Tenor
GWEN, resolute Contralto
QUEENIE, head of the class Soprano
JEFF, a black country boy Soprano
MR. MACLENAHAN, Butch's father speaking role
MISS EULALIE, the central telephone operator speaking role
Chorus of high school pupils
Chorus of parents
Chorus of grammar school pupils
Time and Place

1930s, the Southeastern United States


The Second Hurricane is a parable set in the years after the Great Depression in middle America. Recruited to help with the rescue effort after a hurricane hits, a group of high school students become stranded themselves. Marooned on Two-Willow Hill, as the flood waters rise around them, they are at first reluctant to act together as a team. During the course of the opera, they gradually learn to work together, not only for survival but for true freedom.




Ethics, Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording

John Richardson, Omega Melbourne, Julian Liss, Steven Wertheimer, Julie Makis, Lawrence Willis, Marion Cowings, New York High School of Music and Art Soloists, New York High School of Music and Art Chorus, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein
Sony 60560

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