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Kurt Weill

Die Sieben Todsünden

SubtitleBallet chanté in nine scenes
LibrettistBertolt Brecht
Instrumentation2 (2 picc).1.2.1;; harp, piano, banjo (guitar), timp, perc; strings
Movements1) Faulheit (Sloth) 2) Stolz (Pride) 3) Zorn (Wrath) 4) Völlerei (Gluttony) 5) Unzucht (Lust) 6) Habsucht (Covetousness) 7) Neid (Envy) Finaletto
PremiereJune 7, 1933, Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, George Balanchine, chor., Maurice Abravanel, cond.
Authorized translationsEnglish -- W.H. Auden & Chester Kallman; Michael Feingold French -- Edouard Pfrimmer
SynopsisAnna I (who sings) and Anna II (who dances) are two facets of one personality. At the behest of her family, they travel to seven different American cities in order to make enough money to build a little house on the banks of the Mississippi. In each city, she/they encounter a different deadly sin, and Anna I (the practical side) rebukes Anna II (the artistic side) for engaging in sinful behavior--that is, behavior which hinders the accumulation of wealth. After each sin is repented in turn, they return to their new house.
RolesAnna I (soprano), Anna II (dancer), the Family (2 tenors, baritone, bass), corps de ballet

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