Curtain Rises on
Rise and Fall of the
City of Mahagonny
at Covent Garden
Premieres 10 March
Live Cinema Screenings
Eighty-five years after the premiere of Aufstieg und Fall Der Stadt Mahagonny in Leipzig, Weill and Brecht’s masterpiece will enjoy its Royal Opera House debut at Covent Garden. The new production, which runs March 10 – April 4, is directed by ROH Associate Director John Fulljames, whose Opera Group/Young Vic production of Street Scene won the 2008 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. Mark Wigglesworth conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and a cast that features Anne Sofie von Otter as Leokadja Begbick, Willard White as Trinity Moses, Christine Rice as Jenny Smith, and Kurt Streit as Jimmy MacIntyre. The work will be performed in a new English translation by Jeremy Sams, who has translated lyrics for The Threepenny Opera and the Weill/Robert Vambery operetta Der Kuhhandel.
In Mahagonny, Weill and Brecht created a mythical sin city where money rules and the pursuit of pleasure is paramount. Weill's score crosses over from opera to cabaret and Broadway, incorporating elements of jazz and music hall, and Brecht’s libretto is a stinging critique of capitalism, greed, and consumerism. This timely—and timeless—work has been presented in recent years by several major opera houses, including Los Angeles Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Berlin Staatsoper, and Vienna Staatsoper.“This is an opera which cannot fail to connect to its audience,” said Fulljames in the Kurt Weill Newsletter. “It’s remarkable that the shocks of Weill’s opera have lost none of their freshness and that the opera still speaks so potently today. Politically, its exploration of a society built on consumption has surely ended up ringing far more true today than even Brecht and Weill could have imagined.” Watch John Fulljames talk about Mahagonny in the ROH trailer >>The Royal Opera House production is funded in part by The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. Learn about the Grant Program >>BroadcastsOpera lovers and Weill-Brecht fans around the globe who can’t make it to Covent Garden will be able to experience the Royal Opera House production of Mahagonny through live cinema and radio broadcasts:
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny will be filmed on 1 April and screened in over a thousand theaters across six continents, from Reykjavik to Buenos Aires, as part of the 2014-15 Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season. Find a screening near you.
Mahagonny will be broadcast live from Covent Garden on BBC Radio 3 on 14 March at 7:20 pm, and may be streamed for on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards.
Winner of the 2013 Kurt Weill Book Prize: Weill's Musical Theater: Stages of Reform by Stephen Hinton.
2015 Kurt Weill Book and Article Prizes
Call for NominationsThe Kurt Weill Foundation for Music invites nominations for the 2015 Kurt Weill Book and Article Prizes. Awarded biennially, the prizes recognize distinguished scholarship in 20th and 21st century music theater, including opera and dance. Two 2015 Kurt Weill Prizes will be awarded: a cash prize of $5,000 to the author of the winning book entry; and a prize of $2,000 to the author of the winning article entry.
Books and articles first published in 2013 and 2014 are eligible. There are no citizenship or language restrictions. The Foundation welcomes nominations from individuals, publishers, scholarly societies, and institutions, and also encourages self-nominations. Nominations must be submitted before 30 April 2015.Learn more>>
Rachel Cordeiro, winner of a 2013 Lys Symonette Award. Photo: The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.
Lotte Lenya Competition Semi-Finalists Announced
Twenty-eight talented young singer-actors from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have been invited to compete in the Semi-Finals of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition on March 13 and 14 in New York City. Semi-Finalists will perform their entire programs for adjudicator/coaches Judy Blazer and Andy Einhorn then receive immediate feedback in a coaching session.
The 2015 Semi-Finalists are:
Briana Silvie Gantsweg
Christine Cornish Smith
Pien van Gerven
Following the preliminary round, in which contestants from 16 countries and five continents competed by video submission or live audition in New York, the Kurt Weill Foundation presented Emerging Talent Awards to Alicia Ault (Mississauga, Ontario), Alaysha Fox (Charlotte, NC), Theo Hoffman (New York), Noel Houle-von Behren (Fort Collins, CO), Arica Jackson (Grand Rapids, MI), Julian Kazenas (Orlando, FL), Jennifer Kennedy (Gorham, ME), Christian Magby (Stockbridge, GA), Ben Odom (Vienna, VA), Jameelah Leaundra Robinson (Indianapolis, IN), and Bill Townsend (Princeton, NJ). The Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal Promise went to mezzo-soprano Lesley Baird, a graduate student at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.
Learn more about the Lotte Lenya Competition >
Shara Worden sings Anna I in The Seven Deadly Sins with the American Composers Orchestra at Zankel Hall on 27 February. Photo: Courtesy of American Composers Orchestra.
Upcoming Performances -
Die sieben Todsünden
Volkstheater Wien, Vienna, AUSTRIA
Michael Schottenberg, director; Milan Turkovic, conductor; Maria Bill, Anna I.
Now through 22 March
Kurt Weill FestKurt Weill Fest Dessau, GERMANY
27 February - 15 March
The Seven Deadly Sins
American Composers Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, New York, USA
George Manahan, conductor; Shara Worden, vocals.
Symphony No. 2
Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, SWITZERLAND
Markus Poschner, conductor.
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Volkstheater Rostock, GERMANY
Johanna Schall, director; Robin Engelen, conductor
28 February; 7, 15 March
Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts, USA
Andrew Eggert, director; Emanuele Andrizzi, conductor; Scott Gilmore, music director.
28 February, March 1
University of Hawai'i Wind Ensemble, Honolulu, USA
Jeffrey Boeckman, conductor.
Modern Art Ensemble at Konzerthaus Berlin, GERMANY
Tobias Ribitzki, director; Evan Christ, conductor
On the Radio
“Braver Soldat Johnny”
Live stream of the opening concert of the 2015 Kurt Weill Fest, a new concert version of Johnny Johnson performed by the MDR Sinfonieorchester and soloists and conducted by Kristjan Järvi.
27 February, 7:30 pm CET (available for streaming through 6 March)
Die sieben Todsünden
Boadcast of 23 January WDR Funkhausorchester Köln concert (John Mauceri, conductor; Salome Kammer, soloist.)
4 March, 8:05 pm MEZ (available for streaming for 30 days)
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
BBC Radio 3
Live broadcast from the Royal Opera House
14 March, 7:20 pm GMT (available for streaming for 30 days)