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Schedule - Deutsche Oper Berlin

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Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Kurt Weill [1900 – 1950]

Information on the piece

Opera in 3 acts by Kurt Weill
Libretto by Bertolt Brecht
First performance on 9th March, 1930 in Leipzig
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 17th July 2025

Benedikt von Peter's production will take place in the foyers and on the stage - guests can move freely between the venues and video screens. There will be free choice of seating, including on mattresses.

2 hrs 15 mins / no interval

In German with German and English surtitles

45 minutes before beginning: Introduction (in German language)

recommended from 15 years
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About the performance

About the work
Everything begins with the foundation of a city. Less the fruit of an ideal than the result of zero prospects in life, the city is conceived by the widowed Begbick, Fatty and Trinity Moses as a place that will make them money. Aiming to come out ahead financially for once, they plan to out-fox a system designed to suck them dry. To this end they name their city »Mahagonny, the City of Nets«. Yet the system defies their attempts to out-wit it; the nets net nothing. The people flocking to Mahagonny bring discontent rather than money – first and foremost Jimmy Mahoney, who grimly concludes: »But something’s missing«.

Underpinning Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill’s »didactic work« is a deep disillusionment. The atmosphere of the piece is summed up in the song »We lost our big old mama«. The protagonists aim to fail as a team in their radical and nihilistic project: stuffing their faces and boozing, shagging and brawling till they drop. Only to Jimmy Mahoney is it given to ponder on existential matters, grappling with the key issues of our age: How do we want to live? And: what is community?

About the production
Benedikt von Peter’s production makes RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY an up-close and personal experience. The action extends from the stage to the foyer of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and all points in between. The audience become part of a 3-dimensional entertainment construct that is inexorably morphing into an apocalyptic game.

Our articles on the subject

In Mahagonny anything goes
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