6-27 Sep 2023
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage
2:50, incl. 1 interval
Mahagonny: from consumer paradise to hell on earth (16+)
A place where anything goes – as long as you pay. That is the new city of Mahagonny, founded by three criminals on the run. Together, they fleece its new citizens by making them pay through the nose for a real consumer paradise. But this world of cravings, sex and alcohol soon turns into a veritable hell.
Age recommendation: 16+
Photo: Marta Syrko
Masterpiece by Brecht and Weill
After his riveting Salome, leading stage director Ivo van Hove returns to Dutch National Opera with this masterpiece by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Using techniques from the world of film such as green screens and live camera images, he has turned this famous opera about the deceptive city of gold into a highly topical story, one that leaves a lasting impression. With celebrated soprano Evelyn Herlitzius making her debut in the role of fraudster Leokadja Begbick, rising star Lauren Michelle as the prostitute Jenny and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Markus Stenz, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny is set to be an impressive opener to the season.
Opera in three acts
Sung in German
Libretto Bertolt Brecht
Leokadja Begbick Evelyn Herlitzius
Fatty Alan Oke
Dreieinigkeitsmoses Thomas Johannes Mayer
Jenny Hill Lauren Michelle
Jim Mahoney Nikolai Schukoff
Jack O’Brien/Tobby Higgins Iain Milne
Bill Martin Mkhize
Joe Mark Kurmanbayev*
Sechs Mädchen von Mahagonny
Viola Cheung, Thembinkosi Magagula, Elisa Soster,
Raphaële Green, Kadi Jürgens, Jessica Stakenburg
* Dutch National Opera Studio
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master Ad Broeksteeg
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Coproduction with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, The Metropolitan Opera, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg
Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.
An introductory podcast about the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht). Dramaturg Wout van Tongeren talks to director Ivo van Hove and conductor Markus Stenz.
The opera 'Mahagonny' is so strong that you wonder: why is this not standard repertoire? (...)
Ivo van Hove makes you feel the intensity of suffering and living in opera 'Mahagonny' (...) Jimmy's death, devoid of sentimentality, is breathtaking. In that paradox lies the power of the performance.
Van Hove and his team succeeded well in bringing the at times utterly absurd spectacle across the stage.
(Antwerp, September 2022) Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny is a clever satire on greedy capitalism ... Director Ivo van Hove sets the contrast well between Kurt Weill's upbeat music and Bertolt Brecht's raw libretto.
(Antwerp, September 2022) Rise and fall artistically successful ... The musical and vocal level of the performance, the realistic design and concept and its elaboration in the direction make this complex work an opera performance of artistic integrity, in which none of Weill's politically and socially engaged messages are lost.
(Antwerp, September 2022) Ivo Van Hove gives the opera 'Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny' a powerful mix of alienation and subjectivity ... For Ivo van Hove, Mahagonny is not a show but a statement.
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra have been the main orchestral partners of Dutch National Opera for over thirty years. They are regarded as among the best opera orchestras in the world. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is the main regular stage for their concerts.
Photo: Melle Meivogel