Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny

Opera in three acts.
Libretto by Bertolt Brecht.

Performance Information
Principal Productions

Scene sketch for act 2, scene 2 by Caspar Neher.

L'avant-scène Opéra


The story of Mahagonny begins with three criminals on the run from the law. They decide to found a city where people can do anything as long as they have money. Anything goes in Mahagonny--drinking, gambling, sex--and the town is soon populated by various kinds of hedonists. Two characters, Jenny, a prostitute, and Jimmy, a lumberjack, become lovers and generally dominate the plot. Mahagonny survives a typhoon at the end of act 1, and act 2 depicts various scenes of debauchery, until Jimmy discovers that he cannot pay his bills. Then he is sentenced to death (in a court where murderers go free), and discontent destroys the city, which burns as the inhabitants march away carrying placards of protest, although they have nowhere to go.

Performance Information

English title: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Cast: Leokadja Begbick (mezzo-soprano), Fatty (tenor), Trinity Moses (baritone), Jenny Hill (soprano), Jimmy Mahoney (tenor), Jakob Schmidt (tenor), Bill (baritone), Joe (bass), Tobby Higgins (tenor),
Chorus of six girls and the men of Mahagonny.
Orchestra: 2 (2 picc).1 sop. sax.1 alto sax (bari. sax).1 ten. sax. 2 (cbn);; piano, harmonium ad lib., banjo, bass guitar, bandoneon, timp, perc; strings
Stage orchestra - 2 picc, 2 cl, 3 sax (sop., alto, ten.) 2 bn;; piano, zither or xylophone, banjo, bandoneon, perc.; 3 vn.
Duration: full evening
Revised piano-vocal score (David Drew, 1969)
Authorized Translations:
English -- David Drew & Michael Geliot; Arnold Weinstein & Lys Symonette; Michael Feingold
French -- Jean-Claude Hémery & Geneviève Serrau
Italian -- Fedele d'Amico

Principal productions

LP Philips L 09 418-20
LP Columbia K3L 243
CD CBS M2K 37874 / 77341
CD Sony SM2K 91184

Lotte Lenya, Heinz Sauerbaum, Gisela Litz
North Deutscher Radio Chor
NDR Orchester
Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond. 
VAIA 1193
PEARL 9294
Documents 221310
Lotte Lenya
The Three Admirals
Theo Mackeben and his Jazz Orchestra

(recorded February 1930) 
Pearl GEMM CDS 9189
Gold 53089
Lotte Lenya 
Berlin Kurfürstendamm Theatre Orchestra
Dir. Hans Sommer 
CD Capriccio 10 160-61 Anja Silja, Anny Schlemm, Wolfgang Neumann
Kölner Rundfunkorchester
Jan Latham-König, cond.
(VHS) Kultur 2078
(DVD) Kultur D2078
Catherine Malfitano, Gwyneth Jones, Jerry Hadley
Radio Symphonieorchester Wien
Dennis Russell Davies, cond.
Peter Zadek, stage dir.
Brian Large, video dir. (Salzburg Festival)

Suite from Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Arranged for orchestra by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg.

Performance Information
Orchestra: 2.1.1 alto sax, ten. sax (sop. sax).2;; piano, bass guitar, banjo, timp, perc; strings.
Duration: 25 minutes

EMI CDC 556573 2
EMI 575658 2
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Mariss Jansons, cond.
RCA CD 74321 69273 2 Ana Belén y Miguel Ríos cantana Kurt Weill
Orquesta Ciudad de Granada
Josep Pons, cond.
CD Vox Box CDX 5043 / Dureco 115671
LP Turnabout TV34675
Das Berliner Projekt
Jerusalem Orchestra
Lukas Foss