- 3PO -

The Threepenny Opera


Trouble – Threepenny Trailer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave., Toronto
Sung in German and English, with English translation (if you’ve been good)
Tickets: $20 at the door
Please note that Threepenny Opera contains strong language.

Photos from the show

Cast and Creative Team

Music Director – Cathy Nosaty

James Levesque – Narrator
David Roth – Peachum
Joseph Angelo – Filch
Heather Jewson – Mrs. Peachum
Jeremy Ludwig – Macheath
Shaun Alphonso – Fast Eddie
Joseph Levesque – Whiny Walt
Maureen Batt – Polly
Laura McAlpine – Jenny
Keith Lam – Chief Brown
Beth Hagerman – Debbie Dallas
Rebecca Russell – Mrs. Seaword
Erin Bardua – Lucy

and special guest Bunni Lapin

Cathy Nosaty

Music Director

Cathy Nosaty is a composer, musical director and artist educator. She began her musical studies as a classical pianist and her love of collaborative work led to writing music for dance, theatre and film.
Read more about Cathy’s work in film, theatre, and as an artist educator on her website.

Jeremy Ludwig


Baritone Jeremy Ludwig is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s (UofT) Opera School. Jeremy has appeared many times on the stage of the University’s MacMillan Theatre,most recently as Don Inigo Gomez in Ravel’s L’heure espagnol. In 2008, he appeared as Count Robinson in their production of Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto. In the summer of the
same year, Jeremy traveled to Sulmona, Italy to take part in the Center for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) summer training program’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème in the role of Schaunard. Other recent opera credits include Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Opera Kitchener), Harlekin in scenes from Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, The King of Scotland in
Handel’s Ariodante, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (UofT Opera), Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto (Brampton Lyric Opera), Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Halifax Summer Opera Workshop) and Krušina in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Opera NUOVA).

Jeremy began his musical training in his native British Columbia at Kwantlen University College and soon thereafter moved to Ontario to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario under the tutelage of Alvin Reimer. At the University of Toronto he earned a Masters of Music, studying with Darryl Edwards.

Maureen Batt

Polly Peachum

Noted by Opera Canada as a “young, lovely and captivating soprano,” and by the Halifax Herald as being “enthusiastically at home on stage” and having an “endlessly energetic and animated interpretation,” Maureen Batt is an accomplished concert and opera artist.

Maureen’s opera credits include Essential Opera’s productions of Alcina (Morgana), Le nozze di Figaro (Susanna) and Massenet’s Chérubin (Nina), Opera in Concert’s productions of Die Freunde von Salamanka (Eusebia) and La dame blanche (Jenny), Maritime Concert Opera’s productions of Die Zauberflöte (Papagena), Don Giovanni (Zerlina) and La Traviata (Annina), Halifax Summer Opera Workshop’s production of Così fan tutte (Despina), and Dalhousie University Opera Workshop’s productions of The Old Maid and the Thief (Laetitia), The Maid Mistress (Serpina), Ten Belles Without a Ring (Limonia), and The Impresario (Miss Silverpeal).

As an actor and singing actor, she has appeared in productions of Berlin to Broadway, Measure for Measure, Oh, What a Lovely War and Caucasian Chalk Circle (music composed for her and another singer by Michael Doherty). She filmed a TV pilot for a series called Oznaberg, which premiered in the 2011 Silverwave Film Festival, and has since aired on Rogers Television.

Maureen’s formal training includes a Master of Music from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Arts (languages) from St. Thomas University. She is an alumna of the St. Andrews Opera by the Sea workshop, the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Italy and the Opera from Scratch program in Halifax.

Maureen is equally at home in opera, oratorio, cabaret, musical theatre, art song and contemporary music.


James Levesque


Baritone James Levesque, a Calgary native, is at home on both the concert and operatic stage and has been noted for his “expressive singing and acting abilities” (Opera Canada). He has performed on both sides of the Atlantic with such conductors as Harry Bicket, Richard Egarr, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Raffi Armenian and Robert Dean.

Recent roles include: Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Opera in Concert; Mark in the world premiere of John Estacio’s Frobisher with Calgary Opera (broadcast live on CBC Radio), and the title role on tour through the Canadian Arctic; Tsar Alexander I in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Prokofiev’s War and Peace; Jacob in Dean Burry’s Brothers Grimm, First Priest in Mozart’s Magic Flute and Old Andy in Allan
Bell’s Turtle Wakes with Calgary Opera; Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Opera York; the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Manuel in de Falla’s La vida breve with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre; Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone for a Brock University performance; Sam in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Glenn Gould Professional School. James also created the role of William Draper in the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s The Last Duel with the University of Toronto’s Opera Division.

David Roth

Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum

A graduate of the vocal performance programme at the University of Toronto baritone David Roth studied under the direction of Patricia Kern. Mr. Roth is the recipient of several academic awards offered by the Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Arts and Science. A veteran performer, David has sung in Canada, the U.S., and great Britain as both soloist and chamber musician with such organizations as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and the Toronto Masque Theatre. David has appeared as a featured soloist with Tafelmusik in the programme Bach in Leipzig, the Durham County Chamber Choir in performance of Faure’s requiem and the Kitchener Symphony Orchestra in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Some of David’s operatic roles include Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea at the Toronto Fringe festival, Olin Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah, Lindorff and Dr. Miracle in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann at the Halifax Summer Opera workshop and Priest of Jupiter in Handel’s Hercules with Tafelmusik. David has recently appeared in recital with the Aldeburgh connection at the Bayfield festival of song and looks forward to engagements this coming season with Tafelmusik, I Furiosi, Maritime Concert Opera and others.

Laura McAlpine


Enthusing audiences with her musical interpretation, and dramatic versatility with “mellifluous singing and flashes of wit” (Opera Canada), an “impressive voice that jumps off the stage” (Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM), and a “fine performance, clear, expressive voice with fine artistic sensibility” (Dianne Wells, Whole Note). Laura has sung Mozart’s Sesto, conductor Sabatino Vacca; Dorabella, Weimar, Germany, conductor Erkki Korhonen, and the same role with conductor Gordon Gerrard, stage director Michael Cavanagh; Puccini’s Suzuki in Wendy Nielsen’s St. Andrews by the Sea program, director, Tom Diamond. Additional roles: Charlotte, Cherubino, Dryade, Madame Flora, Orlovsky, Siebel. New Canadian opera, Sarinder in John Mills-Cockell’s SAVITRI AND SAM (Factory Theatre), Aunt Luce Gertrude in Charles Wilson’s KAMOURASKA workshop. Oratorio/Concert, Händel’s MESSIAH, Alto-Bach cantatas 78, 132, 133; Alto BWV 147 (Victoria Symphony), conductor Alain Trudel, Bizet’s CARMEN, (Cambridge Symphony). Laura self-produced A POET’S LOVE, staged recital, and cd of Robert Schumann, and Mykola Lysenko’s Dichterliebe song cycles.

Erin Bardua

Lucy Brown

Soprano Erin Bardua made her professional operatic debut as Anna in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Verdi’s Nabucco. After moving to Toronto, she went on to sing Cathleen in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea with Opera Anonymous, and appeared in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, singing two of the three heroines (Antonia and Giulietta). She performed Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Arcady Baroque Ensemble (an opera in which she has also sung the role of the First Lady). Erin’s Mozart roles also include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, a role she performed in Halifax. Her other operatic repertoire includes Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, Anna in Nicolai’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen, and Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème.

An accomplished theatre artist, Erin has performed roles in numerous musicals and operettas, including Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Giannetta in The Gondoliers, Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music, and Julie in Carousel. Further broadening their theatrical horizons, Erin and a group of other adventurous opera singers began clown training in 2003 with mentor Sue Morrison. Since then, Erin has continued her training and participated in the co-creation of a clown opera, The Figaro Project, which premiered in 2007.

Ms. Bardua is also a seasoned concert soloist. She teaches voice in Toronto and in New Hamburg, ON, and recently completed a Masters in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Jean McPhail.


Heather Jewson

Mrs. Celia Peachum

International mezzo soprano Heather Jewson continues a successful career on the concert and opera stages of North America and Europe. Heather’s 2011-12 season included debuts with both the Wisconsin Philharmonic (conducted by Maestro Alexander Platt) singing Elgar’s Sea Pictures, and with the acclaimed Toronto company Tapestry New Opera work, for the Canadian premier of The Sloan’s Project. Other season highlights include the US premier of Robert LePage’s Canadian Opera Company production of The Nightingale and other short fables (Stravinsky) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Madame Flora in Menotti’s The Medium (Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion), Duruflé’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.

Ms. Jewson’s operatic repertoire includes; Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Nicklausse in Tales of Hoffman, Tisbe in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Aspen Summer Music Festival), Jessica in John Estacio ‘s Frobisher (premier at the Banff Centre Centre for the Performing Arts); Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss), Frau Reich in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (O Nicolai), Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (W.A, Mozart), Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier (Sheffield Symphony Orchestra,UK), and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas ( Preston Opera,UK).

In addition to a Masters of Music from the University of Toronto, Heather also holds a Postgraduate Diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, where she was a Major Scholar of the Peter Moores Foundation.

Keith Lam

Chief Brown

Toronto-based baritone Keith Lam was hailed as “a suave, fine-grained baritone” (Boston Globe) and “extremely memorable for having tremendous poise on stage and especially beautiful facial expression” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) in his American debut with Helios Early Opera singing the role of Achis in Charpentier’s David et Jonathas. He was recently seen as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Toronto Summer Opera Workshop. Keith played the role of Sergei in Canadian composer John Estacio’s new opera Lillian Alling presented at the Banff Summer Music Festival in 2011, and he was described as the “comically animated Schaunard” (The Charlebois Post) in the acclaimed production of Puccini’s La Bohème with Against the Grain theatre. Keith was named the winner of the Audience Prize at the inaugural Classical Music Consort Handel Competition. Among his operatic roles, highlights have included the title role of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), Nireno (Giulio Cesare), Der Lautsprecher (Der Kaiser von Atlantis), and Dr. Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’Amore). An active performer of Canadian music, his repertoire includes Blanchet in Charles Wilson’s Kamouraska, Phillip in the revival of Telgmann’s Leo, the Royal Cadet and John Estacio’s Frobisher. As a concert soloist, he had appeared in works such as Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Vesperae de Dominica, Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noël, Faure’s Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. Keith had made frequent appearances with Opera Atelier, Aradia Ensemble, Opera in Concert, and Toronto Operetta Theatre. He also was trained at the Banff Centre’s Opera as Theatre program, Highlands Opera Studio, Opera NUOVA, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Program, and Tafelmusik Baroque Institute. He holds an Artist Diploma from the University of Western Ontario and currently studies privately with renowned Canadian baritone John Fanning.

Joseph Levesque

Whiny Walt

Described as “simply superb” (Talkin’ Broadway), tenor Joseph Lévesque has performed all over North America on the operatic and theatrical stage, and in concert halls. Favourite stage roles include: Belmonte in Die Empführung aus dem Serail (Opera NUOVA), Don José in Carmen Flamenco! (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre), Archibald in The Secret Garden (University of Cincinnati, CCM), Frankie in Forever Plaid (Charlottetown Festival) Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville in Jazz (Leave It To Jane Theatre), Soloist in Kurt Weill: the Berlin Years (CCM) and Tony in The Most Happy Fella (Grant MacEwan Community College). In New York City, Joseph was seen off-Broadway as Christopher Crawford in Christmas with the Crawfords, Biff Baxter in Andrew Sisters’ Hollywood Canteen, and Joe in Judy’s Christmas Garland.

Joseph holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He currently studies voice with David Dunbar. As a certified stage combatant, he is proficient in short sword, quarterstaff, rapier and dagger, and unarmed combat.

Shaun Alphonso

Fast Eddie

Tenor Shaun Alphonso is a Toronto resident and student. Recent solo credits include soloist and Ambassador in Toronto Masque Theatre’s CONVENT OF PLEASURE, Armoured Man/Priest in MAGIC FLUTE and Don Basilio/Curzio in Mozart’s MARRIAGE OF FIGARO both with Opera by Request, and Soldier and Lakeman in the world premiere of John Beckwith and James Reaney’s TAPTOO! with Toronto Operetta Theatre. Shaun is currently tenor soloist at Armour Heights Presbyterian Church under the direction of Bruce Nasmith. Shaun is also a tenor soloist for the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir. When he is not singing, Shaun is student of Welsh literature and translation, and Celtic history, graduating from U of T in 2012.

Beth Hagerman

Debbie Dallas

Soprano, Beth Hagerman is a passionate singer who enjoys both the concert and operatic stage. This year, she performed the role of Pamina in The Glenn Gould School’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Giunone in La Calisto by Cavalli. In the summer of 2011, her Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes D’Hoffman with The Halifax Summer Opera Workshop was lauded by Opera Canada as, “spectacular.” In 2010, she performed with The Chebucto Symphony in their season end concert, “A Russian Spring.” That same year Hagerman held two performances in Opera Nova Scotia’s traveling show, “Puccini’s Women,” in which she sang arias from Tosca, La Rondine, and Edgar. In April of 2009, she performed the role of Zemfira in Opera Nova Scotia’s concert production of Rachmaninoff’s Aleko.

Miss Hagerman is a recent graduate of the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School, where she studied with Monica Whicher and Peter Tiefenbach. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University and a Bachelor of Arts with a Double Major in German and Italian Studies from Dalhousie University.

Rebecca Russell

Mrs. Seaword

Rebecca is a BA combined Honours Music and Theatre graduate of Dalhousie University. Originally from Newfoundland, Rebecca’s credits at Dalhousie University include the “Duchess of Monteblanco” in A Dinner Engagement and Britta in Ten Bells without a Ring. Equally at home in both music and theatre, her professional credits include the “Stewardess” in the world premiere of Fear of Flight (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland), “Helen” in The Cripple of Inishmann (Theatre Newfoundland) and several world tours with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia as a puppeteer. A recent communications graduate from Centennial College, Rebecca’s Essential Opera credits include creating the August newsletter. Rebecca is currently the Bookings and Communications Coordinator for the Classical Theatre Project. She would like to thank Maureen and Erin for this opportunity. Much love to Jeff and all her friends and family for their support.

Andrew Pelrine

Reverend Kimball/Bunni Lapin

Andrew Pelrine was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Andrew graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Arts in Combined Honours in Music and Theatre (2010). Roles include: Monostatos in The Magic Flute (Nova Scotia, 2012) Judah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat (Toronto, 2011); Phantom in Rocky Horror Show (Toronto, 2011); Frantz, Nathanael, Pittichinaccio, and Choreographer in The Tales of Hoffmann (2011); Audience Member in Reefer Madness (Toronto, 2011); Michael Michael in Utah’s Crying (Toronto, 2010); Elder Gleaton and Choreographer in Susannah (2010); Nate, Edwin, and Page in The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery (Price Edward Island, 2010); Angelo in The Comedy of Errors (Halifax, 2010); Michael in Tick, tick…BOOM! (Halifax, 2009). Andrew is excited to direct his first opera, Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, this July with the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop.

Joseph Angelo


Toronto born tenor Joseph Angelo is quickly gaining recognition in the world of Canadian contemporary music, having created the role of Matak in Arthur Bachmann and Clem Martini’s new opera What Brought Us Here (Calgary Opera).  He has also performed in R. Murray Schafer’s The Children’s Crusade at the Luminato Festival, and workshopped new operas such as John Estacio’s Frobisher (the Banff Centre) and Colin Mack’s Isis and Osiris (Opera In Concert).  Mr. Angelo has toured Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces with the Jeunesses Musicales (La Veuve Joyeuse), and has appeared with the Artists of the Royal Conservatory (Billy, Mahagonny Songspiel), Opera York (Basilio, Le Nozze Di Figaro), and Toronto Operetta Theatre (Estragon, Gypsy Violins; Herr Schulius, Leo The Royal Cadet; Anibal, Luisa Fernanda; Leopold Maria, The Gypsy Princess).

Joseph began his musical education as a chorister at St. Michael’s Choir School, where he also took lessons in piano, organ, and theory.  He earned his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, and continued his studies at the Glenn Gould School.



The Threepenny Opera/Die Dreigroschenoper

Text by Bertolt Brecht
Music by Kurt Weill
Based on The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay with music arranged by Johann Christoph Pepusch
With interpolated ballads from François Villon and Rudyard Kipling


Genesis of The Threepenny Opera

Few musical works have reached the cross-genre appeal that Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) has achieved since its premiere in 1928.  Brecht and Weill endeavored to produce a work that would erase the division between high art and popular culture. They hoped that such a creation could effect change by revealing social corruption and injustice and although Threepenny recalls the Golden 20s era in Berlin, its origins are tied to a ballad opera composed 200 years earlier.

Brecht became enthralled with John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728) after it had enjoyed renewed popularity as a revival in London from 1920-1924.  Through its criticism of imported Italian opera in the 18th century, Gay’s work waged an assault on the upperclass with its parodic presentation of a dramatic genre that celebrated the aristocracy.  Brecht took advantage of the “Beggar Fever” that had spread throughout the United Kingdom and Europe in the 1920s (Paul Hindemith was approached by his publishers to write a modern musical version of it), and began drafting the translation and text with his assistant, Elisabeth Hauptmann in early 1928.  Ernst Josef Aufricht, a young impresario, was in search of a work for his newly acquired Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin and scheduled the first performance of Die Dreigroschenoper to take place a mere eight months later on 31 August 1928.  While Brecht was developing the foundations of what would later be called “epic theatre” and delving into the ideas of Karl Marx, Kurt Weill was gaining a reputation as a composer of avant-garde concert works and operas.  Aufricht was nervous about Weill’s lack of experience in composing for commercial theatre and worried that Weill’s score might be too experimental for a “play with music” in the popular vein.  However, their collaboration proved effective, if rushed, as they were each intimately involved with the other’s role in the project.


An Uncertain Beginning

Although Brecht’s and Weill’s creation of The Threepenny Opera was for the most part cooperative and efficient, the production of the work had tumultuous beginnings.  Although the original cast members possessed a diverse collection of theatrical training and experiences, not one was a professional singer.  Harald Paulsen (Mac) hailed from a career in musical comedy; Roma Bahn (Polly), who assumed the role when actress Carola Neher had to tend to her sick husband shortly before the premiere, was a music hall actress.  Weill’s wife, Lotte Lenya (Jenny), was a relatively unknown singing actor and Kurt Gerron (Brown) and Erich Ponto (Peachum) had made their careers in spoken theatre.  Rosa Valetti (Mrs. Peachum) was an experienced cabaret singer; however, during the final rehearsals before opening night, she unexpectedly announced that she would not be perform “Ballade von der Sexuellen Hörigkeith” (“The Ballad of Sexual Need,”) due to its “filthy words.” “Arie der Lucy,” (“Lucy’s Aria,”) was cut for the premiere performance because actress Kate Kühl (Lucy) simply could not get through the piece intended to satirize an opera aria.  The chaos that pervaded the rehearsal period was not limited to the cast members; Brecht himself was writing “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” (“The Ballad of Mac the Knife”) during the final rehearsals in order to appease Harald Paulsen, the tenor playing Mac, who insisted on having a piece to introduce his character.  With such turmoil prior to the premiere, the success of the production was uncertain; however, Brecht’s politically-charged narrative paired with Weill’s irresistible blend of bold harmonies in a popular idiom proved worthy and the production saw 350 performances over the next two years.


Epic Theatre and Montage

The critical success of Threepenny was largely attributed to the work’s construction; it signaled a new theatrical genre.  Brecht was only just beginning to explore Marxist theories as fuel for his presentation of morality and rather than lauding the social commentary in Threepenny,  prominent critics from respected papers such as Berliner Tageblatt and Die Zeit praised the work predominantly for its innovative structure.  Scholar Stephen Hinton proposes that Threepenny is arranged as a montage, with distinct and separate segments that draw on operatic, cabaret, and revue traditions as well as sung and spoken dialogue, and interpolated ballads that come together to form a cohesive narrative.  The score is newly composed, with the exception of “Morgenchoral des Peachum” (“Peachum’s Morning Hymn”), which Weill borrowed from Pepusch. The overture itself embodies the protean nature of the entire work.  In a mock-Baroque manner, the overture is loosely based on the three-part French model.  It also features a unique melody that does not appear in the rest of the score, and, in the neo-classical tradition, incorporates linear counterpoint and strands of fugal writing.

With Threepenny, Weill and Brecht questioned the role of music in the theatre.  By employing the montage framework, the musical score also became part of Brecht’s foray into epic theatre. Instead of serving as a linear thread to unify or propel the drama, the music engages in a dialogue with the action onstage–even interrupting when appropriate.  As well, the score occasionally provides an alternative commentary for the audience, such as in the “Zuhälterballade,” (“Pimp’s Ballad”) which made the piece one of Weill’s favourites. Of the tango he said, “the charm of the piece rests precisely in the fact that a rather risqué text (not by the way, as offensive as a lot of opera texts) is set to music in a gentle, pleasant way.” With his particular settings and unique musical language, Weill’s writing enhances the satirical understanding of the text. Perhaps the most caustic instance of parody arrives in the finale, which draws on operatic conventions of happy endings and extravagant lyricism, to deliver a final, emphatic call-to-action with an exceptionally artificial ending.

The performance history following the premiere speaks to the efficacy and popularity of Threepenny’s themes.  By 1933, Universal Edition, Weill’s publisher, had licensed 133 new productions throughout the world.  Threepenny has been translated into most major languages, with eight published translations in English.  A remarkably versatile work, Threepenny has been reproduced in numerous versions.  After all, the work in its very inception–a mélange of musical styles, theatrical conventions, and timeless social themes–is designed to be adapted and re-interpreted so that it may continue to resonate with audiences across generations.

Maria Murphy