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Libretto by Edwin Denby (E)

Scoring

2S,A,2T,Bar,B,3adult speakers; mixed chorus
1(=picc).1.2.asax(=tsax).1-0.2.1.0-timp.perc:susp.cym/cyms/SD/BD/
glsp/xyl/tgl/tam-t-pft-musical saw (theremin)-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
21/04/1937
At The Playhouse, 466 Grand Street, New York, New York
Orson Welles, director
Conductor: Lehman Engel
Company: Music School of the Henry Street Settlement

Roles

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

Synopsis

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.

Moods

Dramatic

Subjects

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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