Iconic Productions: Mahagonny

“Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes” – Bertolt Brecht

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (2007); Photo: Robert Millard

In 1927, two titans of German theater and opera (respectively), Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht started working on Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Their intriguing partnership (which would last through other famed works, such as The Threepenny Opera) resulted in a marriage of married epic theater and energetic music to satirically showcase the excesses of modern life and politics.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is one of the great works of the 20th century. In 2007, LA Opera brought the opera to life with celebrated artists, such as Audra McDonald (a now six-time Tony Award-winning actress and Emmy nominee) and Patti LuPone (two-time Tony Award-winner, who recently starred in the west coast premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles). Mahagonny followed the company’s longstanding tradition of highlighting lesser-known operatic works to much success.

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