Signed by Kurt Weill

    Kurt Weill. Street Scene: An American Opera. Music by Kurt Weill. Book by Elmer Rice. Lyrics by Langston Hughes. New York: Chappell & Co., Inc., [1948].

    First edition. Inscribed and signed on the title page: "For Joe Gittan / a merry Christmas / and thanks for a beautiful job / Kurt". Folio. 273 pages.

    Original gray wrappers printed in red. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box with a spine title label lettered in black. Minor shelf wear and toning to edges, else a fine copy of a rare signed Weill first edition.

    Weill gained fame in Germany with The Threepenny Opera. After emigrating to the United Stated he created his masterpiece in Street Scene, a work he described as "a real blending of drama and music, in which the singing continues naturally where the speaking stops, and the spoken word as well as the dramatic action are embedded in overall musical structure." Weill saw Elmer Rice's play of working-class New Yorkers in 1929, and later acquired the rights to produce the opera version, hiring Langston Hughes to compose song lyrics and create operatic dialogue in line with the jazz and blues vibe. Street Scene eventually ran at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City for 148 consecutive performances.

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