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Bertolt Brecht
Librettist

Biography
Playwright, poet and lyricist Bertolt Brecht was among the most controversial figures ever to impact musical theatre; an avowed Marxist, he often worked in tandem with composer Kurt Weill to create one of the most provocative bodies of work ever staged. Brecht was born February 10, 1898 in Augsburg, Bavaria; while attending Munich University, he was drafted to serve as a medic in World War I, later forging a career as a writer. His early Expressionist dramas -- Trommeln in der Nacht, Baal and Im Dickicht der Stadte -- reflected his anti-establishment leanings, as well as an obsession with violence; he then spent the majority of the 1920s touring the cabaret circuits of Germany and Scandinavia, often courting further controversy over the outspoken politics and nihilistic edge of his songs. In 1928 Brecht earned his greatest theatrical success with Die Dreigroschenoper, a musical adaptation of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera featuring music composed by Weill; like the previous year's Mann Ist Mann and 1929's Mahagonny, it spotlighted the playwright's gift for incisive satire of bourgeois sensibilities. By 1933, Brecht -- exiled to Denmark in the wake of the Reichstag fire -- had acquired an international reputation on the strength of work like The Threepenny Opera, which opened in an English-language version on Broadway. An outspoken critic of the Nazis, his plays, poems and radio dramas of the period attacked the Hitler regime with thinly-veiled contempt; finally, in 1941 he was forced to flee to Hollywood to escape the Nazis' wrath, settling there to write works including Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis and Leben des Galilei. In 1947 Brecht was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee for his pro-Communist beliefs; he then moved to East Berlin, where he established his own theater, the Berliner Ensemble. He died on August 14, 1956.

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
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GRANT NAMEYEAR
The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase 2013


Productions
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COMPANYTITLEDATES
Florentine Opera CompanyLittle Mahagonny5/7/2021 - 5/7/2021
Atlanta OperaThe Threepenny Opera4/22/2021 - 5/9/2021
West Edge OperaThe Threepenny Opera8/3/2019 - 8/15/2019
Cedar Rapids OperaThe Threepenny Opera1/10/2019 - 1/13/2019
The Industry L.A.Galileo5/1/2018 - 5/1/2018
Boston Lyric OperaThe Threepenny Opera3/16/2018 - 3/25/2018
Atlanta OperaThe Seven Deadly Sins9/28/2017 - 10/6/2017
Festival OperaThe Seven Deadly Sins6/24/2017 - 6/25/2017
Opera ParallèleMahagonny Songspiel4/4/2014 - 4/27/2014
Amarillo OperaThe Threepenny Opera4/4/2014 - 4/6/2014
Indianapolis OperaThe Threepenny Opera10/10/2013 - 10/19/2013
Manhattan School of MusicAufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny4/4/2013 - 4/28/2013
Central City OperaThe Seven Deadly Sins7/7/2011 - 8/8/2011
Madison OperaThe Threepenny Opera2/2/2011 - 2/13/2011
Los Angeles OperaRise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny2/2/2007 - 3/4/2007
Opera BostonRise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny2/2/2007 - 2/27/2007
Opera ColumbusThe Threepenny Opera1/1/2006 - 1/15/2006
Arizona OperaThe Threepenny Opera11/1/2005 - 11/19/2005
Long Beach OperaThe Threepenny Opera6/1/2005 - 6/15/2005
Calgary Opera AssociationThe Seven Deadly Sins3/1/2005 - 3/19/2005
Opera OmahaThe Threepenny Opera10/1/2004 - 10/9/2004
Wichita State University Opera TheatreThe Threepenny Opera3/1/2004 - 3/21/2004
Vancouver New MusicThe Threepenny Opera3/1/2004 - 3/27/2004
Cincinnati OperaThe Seven Deadly Sins6/6/2003 - 6/28/2003
Pittsburgh OperaThe Threepenny Opera2/2/2003 - 2/28/2003
Connecticut Grand Opera and OrchestraThe Threepenny Opera5/6/2000 - 5/14/2000
Wichita State University Opera TheatreThe Seven Deadly Sins4/4/1999 - 4/30/1999
Lyric Opera of ChicagoRise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny11/11/1998 - 12/12/1998
New York City OperaThe Seven Deadly Sins9/9/1998 - 9/25/1998
Encompass New Opera TheatreMother Courage6/1/1998 - 6/18/1998
Manhattan School of MusicThe Seven Deadly Sins1/5/1998 - 1/5/1998
Skylight Music TheatreThe Threepenny Opera1/1/1998 - 2/15/1998
New York City OperaThe Seven Deadly Sins3/3/1997 - 3/30/1997
Summer Opera Theatre CompanyThe Threepenny Opera7/7/1996 - 7/28/1996
Curtis Institute of MusicThe Berlin Requiem2/1/1996 - 2/17/1996
Metropolitan OperaRise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny11/11/1995 - 12/12/1995
Central City OperaThe Threepenny Opera7/7/1995 - 8/13/1995
Manhattan School of MusicMahagonny Songspiel12/1/1993 - 12/11/1993
Orlando OperaThe Threepenny Opera10/1/1993 - 10/23/1993
Curtis Institute of MusicHappy End4/1/1992 - 5/1/1992


Artist Information

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