University Opera turns to music and theater of the mid-20th century with A KURT WEILL CABARET

September 27, 2017

Contact:

Katherine Esposito 263-5615
David Ronis


This fall, University Opera takes a short break from strictly operatic offerings as it turns to the music of Kurt Weill (1900-1950). A KURT WEILL CABARET, a pastiche of 21 solos and ensembles from Weill’s many diverse works, will be presented at Music Hall on the UW-Madison campus on October 27 at 7:30pm, October 29 at 3:00pm and October 31 at 7:30pm. University Opera Director David Ronis will direct the show. Chad Hutchinson, adjunct professor of orchestras, will conduct. Musical preparation will be by UW-Madison vocal coach, Daniel Fung.

Born in Germany, Weill achieved early fame through works created in partnership with the playwright Berthold Brecht, most notably, Die Dreigroschen Oper (The Threepenny Opera) and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). Forced into exile by the rise of Hitler in 1933, Weill spent a few years in Paris before eventually moving to New York. In the United States, he found success on Broadway through collaborations with such lyricists as Ira Gershwin, Langston Hughes, and Ogden Nash on such shows as Lady in the Dark, One Touch of Venus, and the opera Street Scene. Several roles in these productions were premiered by his wife, Lotte Lenya, the singing actress who championed his works even after their divorce and his death.

Kurt Weill image courtesy German Federal Archive.

A KURT WEILL CABARET is a unique production, assembled by Ronis, that contains no one dramatic through-line. Instead, the pieces that comprise the evening, taken out of their usual context, are juxtaposed so as to create multiple mini-narratives. There are no set characters; relationships develop and dissolve as the evening progresses. The show is organized into three sections, each highlighting themes of Weill’s oeuvre. The first of these works its way through a series of dysfunctional yet comic relationships between men and women. The metaphor of travel underscores the second section, which explores themes of longing, disappointment, and finally hope. The characters involved are tough and world weary – their hopes and aspirations often dashed by swift doses of reality. Nevertheless, there is a sense that all is not lost and redemption is possible. The third and final portion of the show returns to lighter fare that affirms that true love and happiness is possible, especially when there’s ice cream involved!

The musical numbers of A KURT WEILL CABARET, sung in English, German, and French, include “The Saga of Jenny,” “Surabaya Johnny,” I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” “Whiskey Bar/Alabama Song,” “J’attends un navire,” “Foolish Heart,” “Youkali,” “Denn wie man sich bettet,” “A Rhyme for Angela,” “It Never Was You,” and “My Ship.”

The cast features one guest artist, Alec Brown, and twelve UW-Madison students: Matthew Chastain, Jake Elfner, Tim Emery, Talia Engstrom, Eliav Goldman, Courtney Kayser, Sarah Kendall, Miranda Kettlewell, Jeffrey Larson, Lauren Shafer, Emily Vandenberg, and Emily Weaver.

The production will be designed by Greg Silver with lighting by Aimee Hanyzewski. Sydney Krieger and Hyewon Park will be the costume designers, Laura Meinders the props designer, and the production stage manager will be Shelly Sarauer. Others on the production staff include Thomas Kasdorf, rehearsal pianist; Courtney Kayser, operations manager for University Opera; and Ethan White, lighting board operator.

Following each performance of A KURT WEILL CABARET, audience members will be given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the performance during talk-back sessions with the cast and members of the artistic staff.

Tickets are $25.00 for the general public, $20.00 for senior citizens and $10.00 for UW-Madison students, available in advance through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online at the UW box office. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m. and the Vilas Hall Box Office, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and after 5:30 p.m. on University Theatre performance evenings.

Because shows often sell out, advance purchase is recommended. If unsold tickets remain, they may be purchased at the door beginning one hour before the performance. The Carol Rennebohm Auditorium is located in the Music Hall, at the foot of Bascom Hill on Park Street.

Click here for parking information.

University Opera is a cultural service of the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison whose mission is to provide comprehensive operatic training and performance opportunities for our students and operatic programming to the community. For more information, please contact opera@music.wisc.edu. Or visit the School of Music’s web site at music.wisc.edu.


Our Full Concert Calendar

calendar

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to newsletter editor.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at join-somnews@lists.wisc.edu or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.

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Concert News: Christopher Taylor offers Beethoven, Corigliano & more–Fourth Brass Fest just around the corner

Upcoming Concerts at the Mead Witter School of Music

For the full calendar (many more events) please see http://www.music.wisc.edu/events/

PIANIST CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR: Saturday, September 23, 8 PM, Mills Hall

On the program:
Corigliano’s Fantasia on an Ostinato
Beethoven’s Symphony #7 (arr. Liszt)
Schubert’s Moments Musicaux
Rachmaninoff’s Moments Musicaux

Christopher Taylor’s conceptual program features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, arranged by Franz Liszt. Over 175 years later, NYC-based composer John Corigliano would use Beethoven’s 7th to inspire his Fantasia on an Ostinato.

On the second half of the program, Taylor will feature two takes on the title “Moments Musicaux”: first, Schubert’s version, published in the last year of his life (1828), then he’ll perform Rachmaninoff’s version from the start of his career.

Tickets: $15 adults, $5 non-School of Music students and children. Ticket information here.


BRASS FEST IV: Concerts & master classes, Saturday, September 30 & Sunday, October 1, Mills Hall & classrooms

We invite students of all ages to discover the brass quintet genre and its myriad of musical styles, and offer a chance for young brass players to meet and mingle with other like-minded musicians.

This year’s guests will be the Beaumont Brass Quintet from Michigan State University. They, along with our own fabulous Wisconsin Brass Quintet, will perform a concert on Saturday, September 30 at 8 pm, featuring arrangements (such as a Bach Partita arranged for brass by our own trombone professor, Mark Hetzler) and original brass works. Those will include “Music for Lighthorses” by David Biedenbender; “Quintet for Brass” by Andrew Duncan; and “Night-Shining White” by Zhou Tian. Cost: Free.

On Sunday, October 1, 2:30 PM, our concert will include both quintets and top college students. There will also be a reception afterwards, for all in attendance. On the program: Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” for brass and percussion. Cost: $15 adults, $5 students (MWSOM students free). Ticket information here. 

Download the full program here

For specific master class rooms & times, see posted hallway signs.

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Past Brass Fest guests have included tubist Oystein Baadsvik from Norway, trumpeter Adam Rapa with vocalist Elizabeth Vik, the youthful Axiom Brass from Chicago and the internationally-known Stockholm Chamber Brass on their first United States tour.

Listen to “A Little Russian Circus,” movement 1, composed by Anthony DiLorenzo, performed by Stockholm Chamber Brass, the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, and college students at Brass Fest III.

See you in Humanities!


Our Full Concert Calendar

calendar

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August. To receive the brochure, please send your postal address to newsletter editor.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at join-somnews@lists.wisc.edu or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.