Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny
Royal Opera House
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's satiric opera was written to throw a salutary chill over the warmth of comfortable art. It was opera as anti opera, and had a stormy reception when first performed in 1930. In this new production for The Royal Opera House, director John Fulljames and designers Es Devlin and Christina Cunningham show that 80 years have sharpended the opera's observations on the city's corrupting encouragement of greed and excess- whether through money, drink or sex. In the end, even God washes his hands of this dystopia of mankind unchecked. The music ranges from astringent and punchy to deeply lyrical- the "Alabama Song" is probably the best known of its numbers. The cast is headed by Anne Sofie Von Otte, Kurt Streit and Christine Rice sing a new English translation under the conducting of Mark Wigglesworth. Sometimes comic, sometimes moving and always gripping.