The Threepenny Opera


The Threepenny Opera (German: Die Dreigroschenoper) is a play with musical elements by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher.[1] It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera,[2] and offers a Socialist critique of the capitalist world. It opened on 31 August 1928 at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.

By 1933, when Brecht and Weill were forced to leave Germany by Hitler's Machtergreifung, the play had been translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times on European stages.[3] Songs from The Threepenny Opera have been widely covered and become standards, most notably "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" ("The Ballad of Mack the Knife") and "Seeräuberjenny" ("Pirate Jenny").

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