In a study of empty promises, Kurt Weill’s cynical take on utopia is paired with Gian Carlo Menotti’s deceitful medium, highlighting the ways deception can lead to destruction and grief. The escape to a fascinating city of pleasure leads to disillusionment in Mahagonny: Ein Songspiel, which launched Weill’s rich collaboration with Bertolt Brecht; this “scenic cantata” is a precursor to The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. In Menotti’s tragic drama The Medium, an imagined dialogue with the departed provides temporary comfort for the bereaved at a séance—before an inexplicable, perhaps truly supernatural event becomes the catalyst for a slide into paranoia and madness. Carlos Ágreda conducts and Emma Griffin directs.
Fully staged production with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. Mahagonny is sung in German with English supertitles and The Medium sung in English with supertitles.
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This performance is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, NY.
The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation.