Great Performances Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

My only previous knowledge of this opera comes from the 1998 Salzburg version where is is performed in German with an illustrious operatic cast. I felt at the time that actors who could sing could probably give a better account of this piece than opera singers. This is mainly what we get in this Los Angeles production. Patti LuPone is an excellent Begbick and Audra McDonald is a sensational Jenny. Think Condoleezza Rice in a diaphanous body-stocking. Anthony Dean Griffey, who plays Jimmy, is of course an opera singer. I last saw him as Peter Grimes at the Met but I think he is miscast in Mahagonny.Doing the opera in translation does make it more accessible to English-speaking audiences but I cannot say I understand the opera any more after seeing this production. It still strikes me as a lame satire on the evils of capitalism with cartoon characters and comic strip action. I felt alienated from the entire thing. Maybe that was what Brecht intended.

IMDBID: 1240172

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