<i>The Threepenny Opera</i> (1950–1954) and Other Adaptations

Howard Pollack

in Marc Blitzstein

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791590
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199949625 | DOI:
                   The Threepenny Opera (1950–1954) and Other Adaptations

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This chapter discusses Blitzstein’s work as director, translator, and adapter from 1950 to the end of his life. This includes his supervision of a production of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan for which Leonard Bernstein had written the music; his adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s Let’s Make an Opera for American audiences; his adaptations of Verdi’s La Traviata, Offenbach’s L’îsle de Tulipatan, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and Brecht’s Mother Courage, among other works. The adaptation of The Threepenny Opera, which starred Lotte Lenya and Scott Merrill, enjoyed special success; by the time of its close in 1961, it had broken the record for New York’s longest-running musical, while one of its songs, “Mack the Knife,” proved one of the great hits of the time, with recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Keywords: Benjamin Britten; Giuseppe Verdi; La Traviata; Offenbach; Bertolt Brecht; Kurt Weill; The Threepenny Opera; Mother Courage; Louis Armstrong; Bobby Darin; Ella Fitzgerald

Chapter.  13658 words. 

Subjects: American Music ; Popular Music

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