A live performance during my masters exam concert “Kurt Weill – From Dessau to Broadway” at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf.
Lucy’s Aria from “The Threepenny Opera” (1928)
Music: Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Bertolt Brecht
Piano: Jori Schulze-Reimpell
“The Threepenny Opera” premiered on August 31st 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin and instantly became a hit. Theaters all over Germany announced that they would include the play in their repertoire. Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht had worked on the opera from May to September. It was orchestrated for a seven-piece jazz band, common in Berlin at the time (At the premiere the Lewis Ruth Band, conducted by Theo Mackeben). Three songs from The Threepenny Opera were cut before the premiere: Rosa Valetti rejected the “Ballade der sexuellen Hörigkeit” (The Ballad of the Sexual Dependance) because of its daring lyrics. The “Song of Solomon” as well as the “Lucy’s Aria” had been removed because the performer Kate Kühls was vocally incapable of performing it. In November 1932 Weill published this pseudo-aria in “Die Musik 25, No.2”, without ever having orchestrated it.