the Teatro Real of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
resulted in a success on several levels: vocal, orchestral,
choral, theatrical, dramatic. This opera is above
In this production they came together like clockwork,
and this time it was Kurt Weill
Suddenly, in the singing of Jane Henschel (as the evil leather-bound matron of Mahagonny, Leocadia Begbick), Willard White (as her cohort, Trinity Moses), Measha Brueggergosman (as the beloved whore Jenny), and Michael König (as the Alaskan gold-miner Jim MacIntyre, who falls for Jenny hard) I realized what a remarkable opera this truly was.
I will not, this time around, attempt to relay the silly plot in its entirety. Weill and Brecht confused geography and American dialect enough to make the story so improbable that it is almost impossible to make out why the three central escaping felons have moved up to a desolate northern spot in the South of the country in which they feel safe enough to establish a kind of early Las Vegas-like city, Mahagonny, where liquor, sex, and money rule—let alone explaining why Alaskan miners are drawn to it, along with other slimy businessmen, in this production dressed in suits.