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WHEN PARADISE BECOMES HELL
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny is a satirical parable by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht about capitalism running rampant. There are no limits on what’s allowed in Mahagonny, as long as you can pay. Weill’s fusion of classical, jazz and popular tunes makes for a roller coaster musical production.
Do as you please
After the success of their shorter Mahagonny Songspiel (1927), Weill and Brecht fleshed out the story to a full-length opera. But where the Mahagonny of the Songspiel still had echoes of paradise, the city’s sole purpose in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny is to separate people from their money. Here, everyone is free to do as they please – binge, booze, make love or war; the only sin is to have no money. In the end, Mahagonny goes up in flames.
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny was first staged towards the end of the progressive Weimar Republic. Various scandals surrounded its première and subsequent performances, most of them incited by far-right saboteurs.
Team and cast
Directed by Ivo van Hove, this production incorporates video projections by Tal Yarden, with stage and lighting design by Van Hove's regular scenographer Jan Versweyveld. Returning to DNO for this production are Doris Soffel (as Leokadja Begbick), Alan Oke (Fatty), Sir Willard White (Dreieinigkeitsmoses), Nikolai Schukoff (Jim Mahoney) and Thomas Oliemans (Bill).
Chief conductor of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2012-2013 season, he conducted Kurtág’s Fin de partie at the Opera Forward Festival 2019. In this production, he leads the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ivo van Hove
Ivo van Hove is the director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (formerly Toneelgroep Amsterdam), while he has won worldwide acclaim with his productions in London and New York. Among the operas that he has directed are Lulu and Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Vlaanderen), The Makropulos Affair, Iolanta, Der Schatzgräber and Salome (DNO), as well as the world première of Brokeback Mountain (Teatro Real in Madrid).
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Opera in 3 acts
9 March 1930
Neues Theater Leipzig
Coproduction with: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Opera Vlaanderen and Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg
Team, Cast and Chorus
- Musical Director
- Markus Stenz
- Stage Director
- Ivo van Hove
- Set Designer
- Jan Versweyveld
- Costume Designer
- An D'huys
- Lighting Designer
- Jan Versweyveld
- Tal Yarden
- Jan Vandenhouwe
- Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
- Chorus of Dutch National Opera
- Chorus Master
- Ching-Lien Wu
- Leokadja Begbick
- Doris Soffel
- Alan Oke
- Sir Willard White
- Jenny Hill
- Lauren Michelle
- Jim Mahoney
- Nikolai Schukoff
- Jack O’Brien/ Tobby Higgins
- Sean Panikkar
- Thomas Oliemans
- Peixin Chen
- Sechs Mädchen
- Kristina Bitenc,
Maria Novella Malfatti
Leonie van Rheden,
Ivo van HoveDirector
Ivo van Hove (director) was appointed director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in 2001 and directed the Holland Festival from 1998 to 2004. Van Hove’s productions are performed at many venues in the Netherlands and abroad, including theatres in New York (Broadway), London (West End), Seoul and Melbourne.
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra has been the principal partner of Dutch National Opera for more than 30 years and is among the world's best opera orchestras. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is the orchestra’s primary venue. Besides programmes led by chief conductor Marc Albrecht and Gordan Nicolic (musical director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra), it also has various collaborations with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as budding stars of the next generation of musicians. The orchestra seeks to make the classical repertoire accessible to everyone, performing not only in concert halls but also a range of unusual and more adventurous venues. By bringing people together through music, the orchestra creates beautiful and memorable musical experiences for all, from classical aficionados to new audiences. With its home base in the NedPhO-Koepel, a former church in Amsterdam's culturally diverse Indische Buurt, the orchestra plays a vital role in the community. Each year it organises some two hundred activities around music education, neighbourhood participation and talent development. In the 2019-2020 season, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is playing in the DNO productions of Pagliacci I Cavalleria rusticana, Die Walküre, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny and Die Frau ohne Schatten. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra is playing in Così fan tutte and La Cenerentola.
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Dutch National Opera's own chorus consists of 50 singers, regularly augmented with freelance members for large productions. The Chorus has an impressive record with milestones including opera productions of Saint Francois d’Assise, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Ercole amante, Boris Godoenov, La Juive, Les Troyens, Eugene Onegin, Parsifal, Guillaume Tell, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Faust, La forza del destino, Das Flos der Medusa, Oedipe and Tannhauser, and concerts of Der fliegende Hollander in Rotterdam, Paris and Dortmund and Daphnis et Chloe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Under the artistic direction of Ching-Lien Wu since 1 September 2014, in 2016 the authoritative Opernwelt magazine named the DNO Chorus the Best Opera Chorus of the year. In the 2019-2020 season the Chorus is singing in Pagliacci |Cavalleria rusticana, Così fan tutte, La Cenerentola, Nabucco, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Carmen and Rusalka.
mo 24 February Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Musical evening giving an accessible, in-depth explanation of operas and ballets.
NB: In principle, the foyer evenings are given in Dutch, but in practice the high number of international guests means that English is often spoken as well.
Step into the world of the makers. Sit back with a drink in an informal setting and enjoy an aria or duet, a pas de deux or small ensemble, or an interview with a singer or choreographer. A varied programme, linked to a topical theme, is presented for each production.
The doors and the bar open at 20.00. The evening begins at 20.30 and lasts around an hour and a quarter. The bar will stay open afterwards.
Regular - € 10
Students - € 7.50
Free for Giving Circle members of Dutch National Opera, Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Opera & Ballet
Prices are exclusive of booking charges. Tickets for performances can be purchased separately
"This is theatre in its most glorious form''
"It's especially shocking because Van Hove holds himself before that, with the cool tailored suit aesthetics we know from him. So it's Van Hove's evening [...].
"Van Hove is sure to stimulate the imagination."