The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

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Bertolt Brecht translated by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman

DOI: 10.5040/9781408161418.40000001
Scenes: 20. Roles: Male (2) , Female (2) , Neutral (0)

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is an opera chronicling the development and demise of the ‘paradise city’ of Mahagonny in a series of tableaux capturing the baser aspects of human nature.

Three criminals create the city in order to trap money: it is a place of pleasure, where no one works, everyone drinks, gambles, brawls and visits prostitutes, and all that matters is whether you can pay your way. A hurricane passing dangerously close to the city encourages complete lawlessness and debauchery, and soon the raving, delirious city destroys itself.

A pivotal work in the genesis of Brecht’s theory and practise of epic theatre, it is a classic of the twentieth-century avant-garde and represents his first major collaboration with the composer Kurt Weill. It premiered in Leipzig in 1930 where it provoked a major scandal. This version is translated by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman.

From Brecht Collected Plays: 2

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Bloomsbury Publishing

Bertolt Brecht translated by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman

ISBN: 9780413685605

Series: World Classics

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