Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny coming to The Athenaeum Theatre
20.04.2022

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny coming to The Athenaeum Theatre

Melbourne Opera
Credit: Melbourne Opera
words by sidonie bird de la coeur

Melbourne Opera and IOpera are bringing Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann's 'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny' to Melbourne in May.

Melbourne Opera and IOpera present The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogonny – a reinterpretation of a seminal operatic work by Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann. As a political-satirical opera, its criticism of corruption in a world built upon shaky moral foundations makes the piece as relevant in the modern era as it was in the Weimar-era Germany of the opera’s origin.

First performed in Leipzig in 1930, the opera that was banned in 1933 by the Third Reich presents a critique of the governmental instability and chaos that characterised the Weimar Republic.

What you need to know

  • Melbourne Opera and IOpera are presenting The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny – an early 20th century political-satirical opera
  • Conducting the 40 piece opera is multi-award winning conductor, Peter Tregear
  • Catch it at The Athenaeum Theatre from May 1

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“I am so happy to bring The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny into my opera practice,” says director Suzanne Chaundy. “Brecht and Hauptmann were amongst the most revolutionary theatre makers of the early twentieth century and the resonances of their stylistic conventions still play through into the nuances of the most contemporary theatre makers today. [Their] use of projected text, short and juxtaposed scenes and a sense of anarchic humour is as fresh as ever…this production offers me an opportunity to bring it front and centre.”

The 40-piece orchestra and cast is conducted by Peter Tregear, an illustrious conductor and singer who has been at the forefront of many UK and Australian premiers of Weimar-era works, including Machinist Hopkins in London. Two-time Helpmann Award-winner James Egglestone plays the role of Jimmy, performing alongside his wife Antoinette Hallorane as the provocative Jenny Smith.

IOpera was founded in 2007 with the intention of bringing neglected or forgotten operatic works back into the public light. “Artistic collaboration has always been an integral part of Melbourne Opera’s ethos,” says Greg Hocking of Melbourne Opera. “We are very excited about being involved in another IOpera project. Peter Tregear is an acknowledged expert in this repertoire, and we love working with Suzanne Chaundy,”

Tickets are on sale now, grab them here.