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Wot no Threepenny Opera? 
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Fresh Face
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:19 am
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Post Wot no Threepenny Opera?
Yes I know it's called an opera but in many respects The Threepenny Opera was the first modern musical and (together with G&S to an extent) very much a crossover between the two forms, it has "numbers" rather than libretto for one thing, and aimed for contemporary themes and a mass audience. Would be nice to see it granted it's own sub forum here for fellow fans.

Beautiful songs, clever and sharply satirical lyrics, dramatic plot, plenty of emotional power, imho one of the 20th century's finest musical and stage works. Sadly when I listen to many performances the majority overplay the "opera" aspect but the best performance by far for me was the Joseph Papp's 1976 New York Shakespeare Festival production - hard to find on CD but worth the effort:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=214480

this version is beautifully sung, no operatic pretensions and not censored like many versions, I really wish I could find a film of it though. Anyone know of one? All I can find of it on film is the Pabst movie which is great but I prefer this version of the music.


Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:36 am
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Post Re: Wot no Threepenny Opera?
the Joe Papp (Raul Julia starred) production is my favorite as well..I have about 6 different reordings of the show. My favorite film version is the 1990 film "Mack the Knife' with Mr. Julia and Richard Harris. its not perfect..but its very good and the performances are excellent.

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Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:55 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:19 am
Posts: 6
Post Re: Wot no Threepenny Opera?
Salome wrote:
the Joe Papp (Raul Julia starred) production is my favorite as well..I have about 6 different reordings of the show. My favorite film version is the 1990 film "Mack the Knife' with Mr. Julia and Richard Harris. its not perfect..but its very good and the performances are excellent.


Thanks. I've never been able to see or get hold of a copy of that, and it was never released on DVD. Wasn't even clear if it had the music or was just based on the plot. Such a shame this great piece is so neglected.


Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:00 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:19 am
Posts: 6
Post Re: Wot no Threepenny Opera?
Thanks to you I have found a few clips on YouTube - the lyrics seem rather heavily censored unfortunately:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RukCMWkk4fM

seems the real butchers were the editors/producers more than Mack himself :(

I do like Raúl Juliá though - great character

the Pirate Jenny isn't bad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOenowfMCTc

I love Nina Simone's version of that


Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:10 am
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Post Re: Wot no Threepenny Opera?
yes the editors hacked it up...they use 3 different translations as well..the more cleaned up lyrics are the Blitztien ones.

Julia,Richard Harris,Julie Walters, Bil lNighy,and Julia migenes all are perfectly cast.

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Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:39 am
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