Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The new Vienna production promises to come quite close to the Brechtian ideal of epic theatre. The stage design and costumes have a strong surrealist element and reflect Brecht's desire for theatre to have a clear "distancing effect" on audiences. The famous Alabama Song is sung by Jenny Smith and a sextet of doll-like figures dressed in orange. In the pit Ingo Metzmacher promises to deliver a refined and intelligent reading of the score while the French director Jérôme Deschamps aims to remain close to the text.
I have never found that Mahagonny's more popular older sister - the Threepenny Opera - really achieved much in terms of social critique. The songs quickly became too popular for that and too often productions drift of it drift into a comfortable kind of kitsch. The new Vienna Mahagonny promises a more contemporary and thought-provoking experience.