Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny, Weill – Opera (II/II)

James Conlon, John Doyle – Audra McDonald (Jenny Smith), Patti LuPone (Leocadia Begbick) – Los Angeles Opera

The Los Angeles Opera production earned Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording in February 2009. Broadway stars Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone and Anthony Dean Griffey welcome you to the City of Mahagonny!

This Old West boomtown rises from the desert to become a razzle-dazzle Mecca for lust, liberty, and the pursuit of pleasure. Cash is king, poverty is punishable by death, and anything worth doing is worth overdoing. The gripping story and sharply satirical opera – full of whiskey, women and gambling fools – raises an ironic eyebrow at capitalist society. With lyrics by the influential German playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), the provocative work that inspired the Broadway hits Cabaret and Chicago, had its premiere in 1930 and was banned by the Nazis in 1933. Kurt Weill (1900-1950), composer of "Mack the Knife" and the Threepenny Opera, penned a haunting score, which crosses over from opera to cabaret to Broadway including ragtime, jazz, raucous music hall songs and the classic pop hit "Moon of Alabama".

On this DVD, recorded live at Los Angeles Opera in spring 2007, John Doyle, the director of Broadway's smash hit revival of Sweeney Todd, delivers a risky new production starring four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, who stars as Jenny, a tart-with-a-heart, and Broadway legend Patti LuPone as the town's feisty madam Begbick.


51st Grammy Awards (2009) – Best Opera Recording & Best Classical Album

In the press:

"McDonald is stunning . . . she sings with tremendous power. She knows what the words mean. [Tenor Anthony Dean Griffey] is the perfect Jimmy. He falls for Jenny and he falls hard on his luck with a touching innocence."
(The Los Angeles Times)

"James Conlon showed the right Weill-ish stuff, deftly mixing street smarts and Modernist elegance in the performance."
(Opera Now)

"Broadway firepower lit up Los Angeles Opera's new mounting of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny . . . Patti LuPone delivered a commanding vocal performance throughout . . . As Jimmy--the big-spending lumber-jack and proto-anarchist who is eventually executed for not paying his whiskey tab--[Anthony Dean] Griffey was a sensation."
(Opera News)

John Doyle stage director
Mark Bailey set designer
Ann Hould-Ward costumes
Thomas C. Hase lightings
Dan Moses Schreier sound engineer

Chorus of the Los Angeles Opera
William Vendice chorus master
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
James Conlon conductor

Audra McDonald (Jenny Smith)
Patti LuPone (Leocadia Begbick)
Anthony Dean Griffey (Jimmy McIntyre)
Robert Wörle (Fatty the Bookkeeper)
John Easterlin (Jack O'Brien)
Mel Ulrich (Bank Account Bill)
Steven Humes (Alaska Wolf Joe)

Movie director : Gary Halvorson
Playlist : Musics from the Americas
Musical period : Music from the 20th century
Music genres : Voice, Opera

Duration : 01 h 12 min
Location : Los Angeles Opera (Los Angeles, USA)
Production date : 2007
Production : © EuroArts Music International
Available version(s) : EN

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