Opening at Los Angeles’ Odyssey Theatre on October 9…
A mezzo-soprano, Julia Migenes has won myriad awards including the Edison Classical Music Award; two Golden Bambies; and Golden Lion, Golden Camera and Golden Microphone Awards, as well as recording over 30 albums.
For many years, Migenes brought her musical talents to Europe during multiple tours. From October 9 through December 5, though, you’ll be able to catch her at the Odyssey in Los Angeles.
What Mignenes will be singing…
Music from the famed German composer, Kurt Weill. Not only that, Migenes performs Weill’s works in German, French and English, giving the audience a true, globetrotting experience — from Berlin to Paris to New York — via song.
Accompanying Migenes on piano will be Mitsuko Morikawa. The performance is directed by Academy Award-nominated director Peter Medak.
Here’s a bit more info about Kurt Weill:
Kurt Weill (1900-1950) was a musical prodigy from a family of distinguished rabbis. He studied in Berlin, presented his first opera in 1926, and was acclaimed as a leading modernist composer. With left-wing poet Bertolt Brecht he developed a distinctive style of opera, integrating political material through popular song.
In 1928 The Threepenny Opera, rife with jazz and blues and starring Weill’s wife, Lotte Lenya, was a sensation. Weill’s strident melodies captured the nihilism and corruption of 1920s Germany. Happy End (1929) produced “The Bilbao Song,” a hit in later years when translated by Johnny Mercer. Mahagonny, Weill and Brecht’s satire of capitalism set in a mythical American city, premiered in 1930 but was not seen in the U.S. until 1970; its “Alabama Song” is full of ribald humor and was recorded by The Doors.
Weill and Lenya fled Germany for Paris in 1933, coming to America in 1935 – the same year the Nazis closed Weill’s last German production. A U.S. production of Threepenny Opera in 1933 flopped, but a successful revival (1954), with new lyrics by Marc Blitzstein, made a hit of “Mack the Knife” which won Grammies for Bobby Darin (1959) and Ella Fitzgerald (1960). In the U.S., Weill worked on a film history of the Jews and on an anti-war satire with the influential Group Theatre. Knickerbocker Holiday (1938) established Weill as a new force in American theater and captivated audiences with “September Song.” Lady in the Dark (1941, lyrics by Ira Gershwin) produced “My Ship,” and the musical comedy One Touch of Venus (1943, lyrics by Ogden Nash) gave us “Speak Low.”
Weill’s last work, Lost in the Stars (1949), dealt with racial intolerance; its touching title song was adapted by Maxwell Anderson from Alan Paton’s book on South Africa, “Cry, the Beloved Country.”
And an intro to Migenes:
Julia Migenes grew up in New York City, where she graduated from the prestigious High School of Music and Art. As a teenager, she was chosen to sing in Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts, then starred as Hodel, opposite Zero Mostel, in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof.
Julia went on to sing at the Volksoper in Vienna, Austria, returning to the U.S. as a soloist in Metropolitan Opera productions of La Boheme, Pagliacci, Mahagonny and in the title role of Lulu by Alban Berg – a role known for its extreme difficulty. Her performance as Salome at the Grand Théatre in Geneva led to the starring role in Italian director Francesco Rosi’s film version of Carmen, alongside Placido Domingo and Ruggiero Raimondi (César and David di Donatello Award nominations for best actress); the movie achieved cult status, and the soundtrack went on to win a Grammy Award.
Previously at the Odyssey, she has performed Diva on the Verge (2011) and Franz Schubert: His Letters and Music (2009), both directed by Peter Medak.
Spend an evening with Migenes being transported from Berlin to Paris to New York via Weill songs.
Oct. 9–Dec. 5:
• Wednesdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 14; Nov. 18, 25; Dec. 2 (dark Oct. 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 9 (opening night), 16*; Nov. 20*, 27; Dec 4 (dark Oct. 23, 30; Nov. 6, 13)
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 10, 17; Nov. 21, 28; Dec 5 (dark Oct. 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14)
*The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
For more information visit http://www.odysseytheatre.com.