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  • Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny to be relayed live to cinemas across the world on 1 April 2015

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny to be relayed live to cinemas across the world on 1 April 2015

John Fulljames’s new production of Brecht and Weill’s satire stars Anne Sofie von Otter, Willard White and Christine Rice.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

31 March 2015 at 11.13am | 2 Comments

John Fulljames’s new Royal Opera production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny will be live streamed in cinemas across the world at 7.15pm BST 1 April 2015.

The relay will be presented by actor Paterson Joseph, who made his Royal Opera debut narrating this production.

For a specially selected range of films, clips, pictures and features, buy the Rise and Fall of the city of Mahagonny Digital Programme.

The Story

Mahagonny, a city founded by three criminals, is a magnet for the destitute and disenchanted. A hotbed of debauchery and hedonism, the city thrives on pleasure. When four migrants try to escape, they find that leaving is much harder than they had ever thought...

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill wrote Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in the latter years of Weimar Republic, a creative decade that spawned numerous operatic experiments. A stinging satire on consumerism, the opera is as relevant today as it was at its premiere in 1930. Find out more in our Opera Essentials article.

The Production

John Fulljames describes Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny as ‘our world reflected on stage’. His new production, which features designs by Es Devlin (Don Giovanni, Les Troyens) and choreography by Arthur Pita (The Metamorphosis), marks the first time Covent Garden has staged the opera. The opera is performed in English, with a translation by Jeremy Sams. Find out about the challenges of translating the libretto.

The Cast

The production stars Kurt Streit, Christine Rice and Anne Sofie von Otter, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. Mark Wigglesworth and Christine Rice recently spoke about the opera's tunefulness belying a 'dark, cynical message'.

The Music

Brecht and Weill’s score is brilliantly inventive, offering the listener a dizzying array of musical styles, from the popular songs of the 1920s and the tradition of the music hall, to film music. The score is composed of  lots of individual numbers, and before the premiere in 1930, Weill was convinced to make several edits in order to soften the aggressive tone and he reluctantly cut one of his favourite songs - The Mandalay Song. Find out more about The Mandalay Song.

Though written for operatic singers, Mahagonny's music has crossed over into the world of pop. The ‘Alabama Song’ has inspired covers by artists as diverse as Marilyn Manson and David Bowie.

Review

The production had its world premiere on on 10 March. Read audience reactions to the opening night and add your own review. After the relay, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts with the hashtag #ROHMahagonny.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny will be live streamed in cinemas across the world on 1 April 2015. Find a cinema near you.

The Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season continues on 5 May will The Royal Ballet's La Fille mal gardée. Find out full details of the Season and sign up to our mailing list.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is staged with generous philanthropic support from The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY, Stefan Sten Olsson, Richard and Ginny Salter, Hamish and Sophie Forsyth and The Royal Opera Circle.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

31 March 2015 at 11.13am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Bertolt Brecht, by John Fulljames, cinema, Cinema relay, Kurt Weill, opera, Paterson Joseph, Production, relay, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, screening, The Royal Opera

This article has 2 comments

  1. Judy responded on 11 April 2015 at 8:32am Reply

    Really want to see Mahagonny but missed it. Will mahagonny be screened again next season.

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