Neha Patil

The Second Hurricane

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Librettist  Edwin Denbguage
Language  English
Composer  Aaron Copland
Premiere  April 21, 1937 (1937-04-21) Henry Street Settlement, New York City, New York
Similar  The Tender Land, A Quiet Place, Postcard from Morocco, Susannah, Four Saints in Three Acts

Copland queenie s song the second hurricane

The Second Hurricane is an opera in two acts by Aaron Copland to a libretto by Edwin Denby. Specifically written for school performances, it lasts just under an hour and premiered on April 21, 1937, at the Henry Street Settlement playhouse in New York City. Set in the United States in the 1930s, the opera tells the story of a group of high school students who become trapped on an island while working to rescue the victims of a hurricane.


The second hurricane

Background and performance history

The Second Hurricane was Copland's first attempt at composing opera and was commissioned by the Henry Street Settlement in New York City where it premiered on April 21, 1937, at the settlement's playhouse performed by students at its music school. The premiere production was designed by Orson Welles and conducted by Lehman Engel. The young Joseph Cotten played the small speaking role of Mr. Maclenahan.

The work was performed on CBS Radio May 9, 1937, in a one-hour broadcast directed by Earle McGill.

The work has only been sporadically performed since its premiere. In honor of Copland's 85th birthday, it was revived at the Henry Street Settlement in November 1985 in a production by Tazewell Thompson which restored an aria and a ballet which had been cut from the work at its premiere. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, a new version was premiered at the 11th Chicago Humanities Festival. For the Chicago production the producer and musical director Michael Barrett and Jamie Bernstein Thomas (the daughter of Leonard Bernstein) wrote a new libretto updating the story from the 1930s to 2000 with the action taking place in a television studio where the protagonists describe their adventures for a cable-television show called Teen Heroes. In 2014, the opera was revived in Columbia, South Carolina as a co-production between the University of South Carolina's Magellan scholar program, Opera at USC, FBN Productions, Inc., and Columbia Music Festival Association. The cast was composed of community students from across the Midlands region of South Carolina and was directed by University of South Carolina senior Kate McKinney.


  • In the Beginning / The Second Hurricane – New York High School of Music & Art soloists and chorus, New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Label: Sony 60560
  • References

    The Second Hurricane Wikipedia

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