The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera

Not Yet Rated 2 hr 43 minMusic

The Threepenny Opera proclaims itself "an opera for beggars," and it was in fact an attempt both to satirize traditional opera and operetta and to create a new kind of musical theater based on the theories of two young German artists, composer Kurt Weill and poet-playwright Bert Brecht. The show opens with a mock-Baroque overture, a nod to Threepenny's source, The Beggar's Opera, a brilliantly successful parody of Handel's operas written by John Gay in 1728. In a brief prologue following the overture, a shabby figure comes onstage with a barrel organ and launches into a song chronicling the crimes of the notorious bandit and womanizer Macheath, "Mack the Knife." The setting is a fair in Soho (London), just before Queen Victoria's coronation. In this production, Weill champion HK Gruber led the Ensemble Modern in a performance of Weill's complete original score, the first time it had been heard in Germany in many years. This production was broadcast on German television (3sat).

Directors
Barrie Gavin
Starring
Friedrich Karl Praetoriusas Macheath, genannt Mackie Messer
Jürgen Holtzas Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum
Ingeborg Engelmannas Celia Peachum, seine Frau