|Operas and musicals by|
|Der Zar lässt sich|
|The Threepenny Opera||1928|
|Der Lindberghflug (with Paul Hindemith)||1929|
|The Rise and Fall of|
the City of Mahagonny
|The Seven Deadly Sins||1933|
|The Eternal Road||1937|
|Lady in the Dark||1940|
|One Touch of Venus||1943|
|The Firebrand of Florence||1945|
|Down in the Valley||1948|
|Lost in the Stars||1949|
The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) is a revolutionary work of musical theatre, by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher, adapted from an 18th century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> Kurt Julian Weill ( March 2, 1900 &ndash April 3, Der Protagonist ( The Protagonist) is an Opera in one act by Kurt Weill op Mahagonny-Songspiel, also known as The Little Mahagonny, is a "small-scale 'scenic cantata'" written by the composer Kurt Weill and Der Zar lässt sich photographieren ( The Tsar Has his Photograph Taken') is an Opera buffa in one act by Kurt Weill, op Happy End is a three-act musical comedy by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht which first opened in Berlin The Flight across the Ocean ( Der Ozeanflug) is a Lehrstuck by the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, inspired by We, Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 &ndash 28 December 1963 was a German Composer, Violist, violinist teacher music theorist and conductor. Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny is a political-satirical Opera composed by Kurt Weill to a Der Jasager ( The Affirmer or He Said Yes) is an Opera (specifically a Schuloper or 'school-opera' by Kurt Weill to a Die Bürgschaft ( The Pledge) is an Opera by Kurt Weill. Caspar Neher wrote the German Libretto after the Parable Der Silbersee ein Wintermärchen ( The Silverlake a Winter's Fairy Tale') is a Play by Georg Kaiser with music written by Kurt Weill The Seven Deadly Sins (Die sieben Todsünden Les Sept Péchés Capitaux is a satirical ballet chanté ("sung ballet" in nine scenes composed by Der Kuhhandel ( A Kingdom for a Cow or Arms and the Cow) is an Operetta by Kurt Weill. Johnny Johnson is a musical with a book and lyrics by Paul Green and music by Kurt Weill. The Eternal Road (or Der Weg der Verheißung) is an opera-oratorio with spoken dialogue in four acts by Kurt Weill with a libretto (originally in German Knickerbocker Holiday is a Broadway musical written by Kurt Weill (music and Maxwell Anderson (book and lyrics it was directed Lady in the Dark is a Broadway musical written by Kurt Weill (music Ira Gershwin (lyrics and Moss Hart (book and direction One Touch of Venus is a musical with music written by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ogden Nash, and book by S The Firebrand of Florence was a Broadway musical written by Kurt Weill (music Ira Gershwin (lyrics and Edwin Justus Mayer and Street Scene is a Broadway musical or more precisely an "American Opera " by Kurt Weill (music Langston Hughes Down in the Valley is an opera in one act by composer Kurt Weill and librettist Arnold Sundgaard, initially composed and conceived for the radio in Love Life was a musical written by Kurt Weill (music and Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics Lost in the Stars is a 1949 musical with book and lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and music by Kurt Weill, based on the novel Musical theatre is a form of Theatre combining Music, Songs spoken Dialogue and Dance. (born; 10 February 1898&ndash14 August 1956 was a German Poet, Playwright, and Theatre director. WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> Kurt Julian Weill ( March 2, 1900 &ndash April 3, Elisabeth Hauptmann ( June 20 1897 in Peckelsheim, Westphalia – April 20 1973 in East Berlin) was a German Caspar Neher (born Rudolf Ludwig Caspar Neher 11 April 1897 in Augsburg; died 30 June 1962 in Wien) was a Austrian The term ballad opera is used to refer to a genre of English stage entertainment originating in the 18th century and continuing to develop in the following century John Gay ( 30 June, 1685 - 4 December, 1732) was an English Poet and Dramatist. The Beggar's Opera is a Ballad opera in three acts written in 1728 by John Gay. Premiering on August 31, 1928, at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Die Dreigroschenoper offers a socialist critique of the capitalist world. Events 1056 - Byzantine Empress Theodora becomes ill dying suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the Throne Year 1928 ( MCMXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. The Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, was a theatre opened on 19 November 1892 as the Neues Theater ("new theatre" Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution Capitalism is the Economic system in which the Means of production are owned by private Persons and operated for Profit and where
Set in a marginally anachronistic Victorian London, the play focuses on the stories of the working class, rather than those liable to attend fashionable upper-crust operas. Culture The Victorian fascination with novelty resulted in a deep interest in the relationship between modernity and cultural continuities London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Working class is a term used in academic Sociology and in ordinary conversation to describe depending on context and speaker those employed in specific fields or types The protagonist, in the original opera as well as the Brecht/Weill adaptation, is Macheath, an elegant highwayman for Gay and an amoral, anti-heroic criminal for Brecht/Weill. The word highwayman is first attested from the year 1617 The term "highwayman" is mainly applied to robbers who travelled on horseback as opposed to those who robbed on foot In an acknowledgement of the earlier work, Weill sets his opening number, Morgenchoral des Peachum, to the music used by composer Pepusch in Gay's original. Johann Christoph Pepusch ( 1667 - 20 July, 1752) was a German-born Composer, who spent most of his working life in England
Macheath (Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife) marries Polly Peachum. This displeases her father, who controls the beggars of London, and he endeavours to have Macheath hanged. But his moves are hindered by the fact that the chief of police, Tiger Brown, is Macheath's childhood friend. Still, Peachum exerts his influence and eventually gets Macheath arrested and sentenced to hang. Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death Moments before the execution, in an unrestrained parody of a happy ending, Brecht sends in a hard-riding messenger from the "Queen" (the chronology is deliberately muddied) to pardon Macheath and grant him a baronetcy. Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment. A parody (ˈpɛɹədiː US, [ˈpaɹədiː] UK) in contemporary usage is a work created to mock comment on or poke fun at an original work its subject A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the penalty associated with it
The play directly challenges the audience by breaching the "fourth wall" with what Brecht called Verfremdungseffekt, or the "alienation effect. The fourth wall is the imaginary wall at the front of the stage in a Proscenium Theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play The distancing effect (from the German Verfremdungseffekt) or alienation effect, is a theatrical and cinematic device coined by Playwright " For example, slogans are projected on the back wall and the characters sometimes carry picket signs, or stand at times with their backs to the audience. The play challenges conventional notions of property as well as those of theatre. It asks the central and highly political question, "Who is the bigger criminal: he who robs a bank or he who founds one?"
Die Dreigroschenoper is an early example of the modern musical comedy genre. Musical theatre is a form of Theatre combining Music, Songs spoken Dialogue and Dance. Its score is deeply influenced by jazz and mandates a fifteen-piece jazz combo. Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States Its opening and closing lament, "Die Moritat vom Mackie Messer," was written just before the Berlin premiere, when actor Harald Paulsen (Macheath) threatened to quit if his character did not receive an introduction; this creative emergency resulted in what would become the work's most popular song, later translated into English by Marc Blitzstein as "Mack the Knife" and now a standard which has been covered by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé and countless others. Marc Blitzstein ( March 2, 1905 &ndash January 22, 1964) was an American Composer. Mack the Knife or The Ballad of Mack the Knife, originally Die Moritat von Mackie Messer, is a song composed by Kurt Weill Louis Armstrong (August 4 1901 &ndash July 6 1971 nicknamed Satchmo or Sachimo and Pops, was an American Jazz Trumpeter Bobby Darin (born Walden Robert "Bobby" Cassotto, May 14 1936 &ndash December 20, 1973) was one of the most popular Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25 1917 &ndash June 15 1996 also known as " Lady Ella " and the "First Lady of Song" is considered one of the most influential Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12 1915 &ndash May 14 1998 was an American singer and actor Michael Steven Bublé (ˈbuːbleɪ or boo-BLAY (born 9 September, 1975) is a Canadian Big band singer and Actor. "Pirate Jenny", originating from the first act, has been famously covered by singer and activist Nina Simone on 1964's Nina Simone in Concert. Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her Stage name Nina Simone ( IPA: ninɐ sʌmɞnɑ (February 21 1933 – April 21 2003 was a fifteen-time Nina Simone in Concert is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. She gave the song a grim civil rights undertone, with the ship 'the black freighter' symbolizing the coming black revolution.
|Role||Voice Type||Premiere cast - 31 August 1928|
|Macheath ("Mackie Messer"/"Mack the Knife") - London's greatest and most notorious criminal||tenor/ baritone||Harald Paulsen|
|Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum - The "Beggar's Friend". The tenor is the highest male voice within the Modal register, just above the Baritone voice This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Controller of all the beggars in London, he conspires to have Mack hanged||baritone||Erich Ponto|
|Celia Peachum - Peachum's wife, who helps him run the business||mezzo-Soprano||Rosa Valetti|
|Polly Peachum - The Peachums' daughter. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Rosa Valetti, born Rosa Vallentin ( 17 March 1878 – 10 December 1937) was a After knowing Mack for only five days, she agrees to marry him||soprano||Roma Bahn|
|Jackie "Tiger" Brown - Police Chief of London and Mack's best friend from their army days||baritone||Kurt Gerron|
|Lucy Brown - Tiger Brown's daughter. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Kurt Gerron ( May 11, 1897 &ndash November 15, 1944) was a German Jewish actor and film director Also claims to be married to Mack||soprano||Kate Kühl|
|Jenny - A prostitute who was romantically involved with Mack in the past. She is bribed to turn Mack in to the police. Nickamed "Ginny Jenny" or "Low-Dive Jenny"||mezzo-soprano||Lotte Lenya|
|The Street Singer, Sings 'The Ballad of Mack the Knife' in the opening scene||baritone||Kurt Gerron|
The act commences in the shop of Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum, the boss of London's beggars, where Peachum outfits and trains the beggars in return for a slice of their takings from begging. Lotte Lenya ( October 18, 1898 &ndash November 27, 1981) was an Austrian Singer and Actress. Kurt Gerron ( May 11, 1897 &ndash November 15, 1944) was a German Jewish actor and film director In the first scene, the extent of Peachum's iniquity is immediately exposed. Filch, a new beggar, is obliged to bribe his way into the profession and agree to pay over to Peachum 50 percent of whatever he made; the previous day he had been severely beaten up for begging up within the area of jurisdiction of Peachum's protection racket. As a depiction of exploitational capitalism, in a world where even beggars, individuals at the most exposed and lowest of human ebbs, are constrained to pay protection, it sets out to paint an unflattering picture.
After finishing with the new man, Peachum becomes aware that his grown daughter Polly did not return home the previous night. Peachum, who sees his daughter as his own private property, concludes that she has become involved with Macheath. This does not suit Peachum at all, and he becomes determined to thwart this relationship and destroy Macheath.
The scene shifts to an empty stable where Macheath himself is preparing to marry Polly once his gang has stolen and brought all the necessary food and furnishings. No vows are exchanged, but Polly is satisfied, and everyone sits down to a banquet. Since none of the gang members can provide fitting entertainment, Polly gets up and sings "Pirate Jenny," a revenge fantasy in which she is a pirate queen and orders the execution of her bosses and customers. The gang becomes nervous when the Chief of Police, Tiger Brown, arrives, but it's all part of the act; Brown had served with Mack in England's colonial wars and had intervened on numerous occasions to prevent the arrest of Macheath over the years. The old friends duet in the "Cannon Song" ("Army Song"). In the next scene, Polly returns home and defiantly announces that she has married Macheath by singing the "Barbara Song. " She stands fast against her parents' anger, but she inadvertently reveals Brown's connections to Macheath which they subsequently use to their advantage.
Polly warns Macheath that her father will try to have him arrested. He is finally persuaded that Peachum has enough influence to do it and makes arrangements to leave London, explaining the details of his bandit "business" to Polly so she can manage it in his absence. Before he leaves town, he stops at his favorite brothel, where he sees his ex-lover, Jenny. They sing the "Pimp's Ballad" ("Tango Ballad") about their days together, but Macheath doesn't know Mrs. Peachum has bribed Jenny to turn him in. Despite Brown's apologies, there's nothing he can do, and Macheath is dragged away to jail. After he sings the "Ballad of the Easy Life," another girlfriend, Lucy (Brown's daughter) and Polly show up at the same time, setting the stage for a nasty argument that builds to the "Jealousy Duet. " After Polly leaves, Lucy engineers Macheath's escape. When Mr. Peachum finds out, he confronts Brown and threatens him, telling him that he will unleash all of his beggars during Queen Victoria's coronation parade, ruining the ceremony and costing Brown his job. Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901 was from 20 June 1837 the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Jenny comes to the Peachums' shop to demand her money for the betrayal of Macheath, which Mrs. Peachum refuses to pay. Jenny reveals that Macheath is at Suky Tawdry's house. When Brown arrives, determined to arrest Peachum and the beggars, he is horrified to learn that the beggars are already in position and only Mr. Peachum can stop them. To placate Peachum, Brown's only option is to arrest Macheath and have him executed. In the next scene, Macheath is back in jail and desperately trying to raise a sufficient bribe to get out again, even as the gallows are being assembled. Soon it becomes clear that neither Polly nor the gang members can raise any money, and Macheath prepares to die. Then a sudden reversal: a messenger on horseback arrives to announce that Macheath has been pardoned by the queen and granted a castle and pension. The cast then sings the Finale, which ends with a plea that wrongdoing not be punished too harshly.
Erster Akt (First Act)
Zweiter Akt (Second Act)
Dritter Akt (Third Act)
* In many productions, "Seeräuberjenny" ("Pirate Jenny") is sung by the character of Jenny. In the original, it is sung by Polly during the wedding scene, but is sometimes moved to the Second Act and given to Jenny. In the 1956 off-Broadway production starring Lotte Lenya, Polly sang a version of the "Bilbao Song" from Brecht's and Weill's Happy End in the first act wedding scene. Off-Broadway plays or musicals are performed in New York City. Lotte Lenya ( October 18, 1898 &ndash November 27, 1981) was an Austrian Singer and Actress.
† In the Marc Blitztein adaptation, this song was moved to the second act and sung by the character of Lucy.
The Threepenny Opera was first performed at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin in 1928, and, after an initially poor reception, went on to run 400 times in the next two years. The Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, was a theatre opened on 19 November 1892 as the Neues Theater ("new theatre" (The performance was a springboard for one of the best known interpreters of Brecht and Weill's work, Lotte Lenya, who was married to Weill. )
The work subsequently became a huge success, being translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times. It was translated into French as L'Opéra de quat'sous; (quatre sous, or four pennies being the idiomatically equivalent French expression for Threepenny and, by implication, cut-price, cheap). French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people An idiom is a Phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced from the literal Definition, but refers instead to a figurative meaning that is known only Georg Wilhelm Pabst's French version of his film also used this title. Georg Wilhelm Pabst ( August 25, 1885 - May 29, 1967) was an Austrian Film director. Die Dreigroschenoper has been translated into English several times. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States One was published by Blitzstein in the 1950s and first staged under Leonard Bernstein's baton at Brandeis University in 1952. WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes Brandeis University is a private research University with a Liberal arts focus located in Waltham Massachusetts, United States. It was later used on Broadway. Broadway theater, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 39 large professional theaters with 500 seats or more located Other translations include those by Ralph Manheim and John Willett (1979), by noted Irish playwright and translator Frank McGuinness (1992), and by Jeremy Sams for a production at London's Donmar Warehouse in 1994. Ralph Manheim ( 4 April 1907 - 26 September 1992) was an American Translator of German and French literature John Willett was a translator and a Scholar who is famous for translating the work of Bertolt Brecht into English. The Irish people ( Irish: Muintir na hÉireann, na hÉireannaigh, na Gaeil) are a Western European Ethnic group who originate Frank McGuinness (born 29 July 1953 in County Donegal, Ireland) is an award-winning Irish Playwright, translator and Jeremy Sams (born January 12, 1957 in London England) is a British director, Writer, Donmar Warehouse is a small not for profit Theatre in the Covent Garden area of the London Borough of Camden, with seating for 250 playgoers
At least seven productions have been mounted in New York, on and off Broadway.
Recordings are in German, unless otherwise specified. West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London 's "Theatreland" The Empire is a large cinema on the north side of Leicester Square, in the City of Westminster, London. Events 1111 - Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. 1204 - The Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople Year 1933 ( MCMXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Court Theatre The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre on Sloane Square, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Events 474 - Zeno crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire. Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Donmar Warehouse is a small not for profit Theatre in the Covent Garden area of the London Borough of Camden, with seating for 250 playgoers Nick Dear has been writing plays for stage screen and radio for many years The Royal National Theatre, located on the South Bank in the London Borough of Lambeth, England. The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology (the operational name of The London School for Performing Arts & Technology) is an independent state funded arts and technology
There have been at least four film versions. German director Georg Wilhelm Pabst made a 1931 German- and French-language versions simultaneously (a common practice in the early days of sound films). Georg Wilhelm Pabst ( August 25, 1885 - May 29, 1967) was an Austrian Film director. The Threepenny Opera (Die 3groschenoper is a 1931 German Musical film directed by G Another version was directed by Wolfgang Staudte in West Germany in 1962. West Germany ( Inf German: Westdeutschland or West-Deutschland) was the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany ( Scenes with Sammy Davis, Jr. were added for its American release. Samuel George “Sammy” Davis Jr (8 December 1925 &ndash 16 May 1990 was an American Entertainer. In 1990 an American version (renamed Mack the Knife) was released, directed by Menahem Golan, with Raúl Juliá as Macheath and Roger Daltrey as the Street Singer. Mack the Knife is an American Film adaptation of the Brecht / Weill musical The Threepenny Opera (1928 Menahem Golan ( מנחם גולן; alternative Transliterations Manahem or Menachem (rarely Manachem) Golan) born Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay ( March 9, 1940 &ndash October 24, 1994) better known as Raúl Juliá, was an actor from Roger Harry Daltrey, CBE (born 1 March 1944) is an English rock Vocalist, songwriter and actor best known as the
The English-language title is pronounced differently in Great Britain than in most English-speaking nations. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands The word "threepenny" having been the name of a coin in Britain's pre-decimal currency, the musical's title in Britain reflects the various common pronunciations of that coin. The threepence was a denomination of currency used by various jurisdictions in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, until Decimalisation Though the coin was discontinued in 1971 after the decimalization of sterling, the idiosyncratic British pronunciations of the show title continues. The three-syllable word "threepenny" is condensed when spoken into a two-syllable word - with the exact pronunciation varying from geographical region to region. The principal pronunciations are: "THROOP-nee" "THREPP-nee" or "THRUPP-nee".