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Kurt Weill

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny

Translated titleRise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Text informationBertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
GenreOpera In Three Acts
Text AuthorKurt Weill
Text AuthorBertolt Brecht
Instrumentation2(2.pic).1.1.ssax.asax.tsax.2(cbsn)- ad lib.bnj.bgtr.bandoneon-str; Stage orchestra - 2(2pic).2.3sax(sop., alto, ten.)2- or xyl.bnj. bandoneon-3vn

Three Acts



Authorized translations

English: David Drew & Michael Geliot; Arnold Weinstein & Lys Symonette; Michael Feingold


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.


Leokadja Begbick (mezzo-soprano), Fatty (tenor), Trinity Moses (baritone), Jenny Hill (soprano), Jimmy Mahoney (tenor), Jack O'Brien (tenor), Bill (baritone), Joe (bass), Tobby Higgins (tenor), Chorus of six girls and the men of Mahagonny

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