|Kurt Weill's 1947 Broadway musical STREET SCENE went unproduced in the U.K. after its unsuccessful initial production, and it continued to be largely ignored in Great Britain in subsequent decades, even as it began to gain footing among American opera companies. Then, curiously, there were two major British productions in the same year, 1989; one undertaken by the Scottish Opera in Glasgow, the other by the English National Opera in London--both were recorded. This one is billed as the Original London Cast album, which is technically accurate, even though usually, when a production follows the first one by 42 years, even in another country, it's thought of as a revival. This recording, made in the weeks after the October 12, 1989, London opening, include some overlap in casting with the Scottish Opera production (Meriel Dickinson, Blythe Duff, and Matthew Costello are on both recordings, playing the same small parts in each). Specifically, this album treats the work more as a Broadway show, while the Scottish Opera album wants to claim it for opera houses. The cast here, while exhibiting obvious signs of vocal training, sings with a sense of the meaning of the lyrics and the varieties of musical styles, while the opera singers from the Scottish Opera album are more concerned with the beauty of their vocal tones. Even the dialogue sections differ, with the Scottish Opera characterizations larger and more stylized, and the ones on this album more detailed and naturalistic. Going for opera legitimacy, the Scottish recording tends to underplay the numbers written as show tunes, such as "Wrapped in a Ribbon and Tied in a Bow" and "Wouldn't You Like to Be on Broadway," and the swing dance tune "Moon Faced, Starry Eyed." This album gives them their due, with a young Catherine Zeta Jones getting her showcase in the latter. As a result, this recording is the more satisfying of the two, and truer to the work as originally conceived. It's also a far more extensive rendering of the score than the Original Broadway Cast album, valuable as that LP (a lavish effort for its time) remains.