The Three Penny Opera
Brecht and Kurt Weill
from the programme: A quarter of a century ago this
year, Handel was forced to close for a time his
successful London run of Italian operas because of the
tremendous impact of the first "people's opera"
or musical. John Gay's The Beggar's Opera
was an instant phenomenal hit and ran for sixty three
nights, which was extra-ordinary at that time.
Fifty years ago this year in Berlin the poet, playwright and amateur singer Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) collaborated with the composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) to produce The Three Penny Opera. Brecht borrowed the characters and basic plot from Gay's work, modernised the scene and set songs to Weill's jazzy, evocative score. The Three Penny Opera was an immediate success and played in theatres all over Western Europe. It became the target of violent denunciation by the Nazis and was banned in 1933 when Hitler came to power. Brecht and Weill were forced into exile, both eventually arriving in America to work in Hollywood and on Broadway. It was during this period that Brecht created such masterpieces as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Mother Courage and Her Children. However it is still The Three Penny Opera that makes the name of Brecht and Weill familiar to a worldwide audience today.
|Angie McLeish, Douglas McLeish, Bev Bormann and Jane Coaten
Musical Director: Pete Abbott
|Charles Barker, Rowan Crymble
|Douglas Ballard, Neil Taylor, Charles Barker
|Ron Colbourne, John Porada, Martin Ives
|The Lindsey Rural Players gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts