This darkly comic tale is set among the street-thieves and low-lives, but Bertolt Brecht’s sharp eye is really on his audience – the bourgeoisie, with its sense of entitlement and its careless exploitation of others. Truth means nothing and nihilism is the norm. Brecht’s questions are as relevant today as they were when the opera opened in Berlin in 1928.
The comedy is often slapstick, but Kurt Weill’s songs, including classics such as The Ballad of Mack the Knife, Pirate Jenny and Solomon Song, draw us into the characters’ inner worlds. They may be unsavoury, but they make charismatic company – Mr and Mrs Peachum, Polly and the infamous Macheath live long in the memory. Finally, we are asked a question: do we want to keep going this way, or do we want to change the ending?
This production is directed by Walter Sutcliffe, recently appointed as Artistic Director of Northern Ireland Opera, and designed by Dorota Karolczak.
Plus, don't miss the Royal Academy of Music's The Art of Chaos, presented in association with Shoreditch Town Hall.
Taking Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera as a catalyst, the Royal Academy of Music presents a subterranean festival of new music, The Art of Chaos. A series of site specific events unfold over three days including new works for voices and ensemble, a cabaret show of political song, an evening of brand new music from composition students and a series of sound installations inviting the listener to explore the labyrinth of rooms that make up The Ditch. And running over the three days, the result of a collaboration between UWE film-makers and Academy composers, six new experimental animation films influenced by the Weimar Republic that re-examine and illuminate intimate spaces around The Ditch.