FULL MAHAGONNY Stuttgart 1967 Martha Mödl, Anja Silja, Gerhard Stolze
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
- Composer: Weill Kurt
- Libretto: Bertolt Brecht    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany
- Recorded: 1967
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Martha Mödl, Anja Silja, Gerhard Stolze, Alfred Pfeifle, Klaus Bertram, Hermann Winkler, Fritz Linke, Klaus Hirte, Gustav Grefe
- Conductor: Ferdinand Leitner
- Orchestra: Orchester der Staatsoper Stuttgart
- Chorus: Chor der Staatsoper Stuttgart
- Chorus Master: Heinz Mende
- Stage Director: Günther Rennert
- Stage Designer: Teo Otto
- Costume Designer: Teo Otto
Information about the Recording
- Published by: ZDF
- Date Published: 1967
- Format: Broadcast
- Quality Video: 3 Audio:3
- Subtitles: nosubs
- Video Recording from: ok     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
Quoted from Wikipedia:
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (German: Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) is a political-satirical opera composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht. It was first performed on 9 March 1930 at the Neues Theater in Leipzig.
Some interpreters have viewed the play as a critique of American society. Others have perceived it as a critique of the chaotic and immoral Weimar Republic, particularly Berlin of the 1920s with its rampant prostitution, unstable government, political corruption, and economic crises.
Leokadja Begbick, Willy the manager (called Fatty in the early versions of the opera), and Dreieinigkeitsmoses are on the run from the constables. They want to go to a coast where gold is found. But the car breaks down on the edge of a desert. Since they can neither go forward nor backward, they decide to found a city: Mahagonny, “that means: Netzestadt” (1:1), in which they can offer the men who come with money from the coast this same thing with the help of bars and brothels want to pull out of your pocket. There should be peace and harmony there.
And the city is growing. Four lumberjacks from Alaska come with the dissatisfied people from all over the world: Heinrich Merg, Joseph Lettner, Jakob Schmidt and Paul (Paule) Ackermann (in the early versions: Sparbüchsenbilly, Alaskawolfjoe, Jack O’Brien and Jim (Jimmy Mahoney)). They also want to be happy in Mahagonny. As soon as he arrives, Paul falls in love with the whore Jenny. But Mahagonny also has its crises: prices are falling, people are leaving. Paul grows dissatisfied when he sees a sign saying “No No Here…” and to top it all off, a hurricane is heading towards Mahagonny.
That night, Paul invents the law of human happiness: “You may!” The only thing that is forbidden: having no money – that carries the death penalty. Shortly before the destruction by a hurricane, he makes it clear to people that you don’t need a typhoon to destroy, people can do that very well on their own. As an example, he sings a funny song despite the ban.
The hurricane is approaching Mahagonny, the viewer learns the path of the typhoon via radio report. A minute before Mahagonny, however, the storm makes a detour around the city and spares it. From now on, the new motto in Mahagonny (beginning of Scene 13) is:
“First, don’t forget, comes the eating/ Second comes the act of love
Third, don’t forget the boxing/ Fourth, drinking, according to the contract.
Above all, however, pay close attention to the fact that everything is allowed here.
(if you have money.)”
This has a number of consequences: Paul’s friend Jakob overeats two calves. Joseph dies in a prize box against the Trinity Moses after convincing Paul to gamble all his money on him. In the next scene, Paul buys all of Mahagonny’s men a whiskey. But when Begbick asks him to pay him, he remembers that he has no more money. His own law becomes his undoing. Since neither Jenny nor Heinrich want to pay for him, he is arrested.
Paul’s trial begins the next day. The court first hears another case in which the accused of murder bribes the court and is consequently acquitted. But Paul doesn’t have the money to do the same, nor does he get any support from his friends. Paul is confronted with absurd charges and found guilty: indirect murder of Joseph (two days in prison), seducing Jenny (four years in prison), disturbing peace and harmony (two years of loss of honour), singing a funny song (ten years in prison) and the main point of the indictment: bilking, for which Paul is sentenced to death. He is guilty of the greatest crime (“lack of money”). Paul says goodbye. At this point it is also told how God once came to Mahagonny (“Play of God in Mahagonny”).
The opera ends with the city descending into chaos (“Burning Mahagonny”) and several demonstrating groups roaming about