The Threepenny Opera

Introduction

The Threepenny Opera[1] (Die Dreigroschenoper) is a "play with music" by Bertolt Brecht, adapted from a translation by Elisabeth Hauptmann of John Gay's 18th-century English ballad opera, The Beggar's Opera, with music by Kurt Weill and insertion ballads by François Villon and Rudyard Kipling. Although there is debate as to how much, if any, Hauptmann might have contributed to the text, Brecht is usually listed as sole author.[2]

The work offers a Socialist critique of the capitalist world. It opened on 31 August 1928 at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.

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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