Carnegie Mellon Press Release: January 7, 2004
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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
January 7, 2004

"The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" To Be Performed in a Pittsburgh Debut

PITTSBURGH—Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's "The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" will be performed January 29 - February 1, 2004, as part of a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon's leading schools of Music and Drama.

The opera production will be presented for the first time in Pittsburgh in the Philip Chosky Theatre in the Purnell Center for the Arts on the Carnegie Mellon campus. These performances will take place on only four dates: January 29, 30, 31 at 8 p.m. and February 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Elizabeth Bradley, head of the School of Drama, said, "The schools of Music and Drama view the upcoming production of 'Mahagonny' as a unique opportunity for mutual artistic enrichment and collaboration. The distinctive strengths of each school contribute to the realization of a project of great ambition and relevance. 'Mahagonny,' a Pittsburgh premiere, is one of the seminal music theatre works of the 20th century."

"The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" premiered in Germany in 1930. The opera was then banned by the Nazis, not to be produced again in Germany until the 1950s. "Mahagonny" combines classical, jazz and folk elements. In the city of Mahagonny profit and pleasure are the ultimate pursuits. The implications for a society organized on this value system are the overarching theme of the opera.

"This historic production brings together the world-renowned strengths of the schools of Drama and Music in a unique theatrical piece chosen for its combination of musical and dramatic challenges. The cast comes from an open audition between both schools and showcases actors who sing and singers who act, with the participation of the full Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic," said Alan Fletcher, head of the School of Music.

Musical direction and preparation are in the care of the School of Music's faculty and graduate students led by Robert Page, the Paul Mellon Professor of Music. Direction, design, staging and production are supervised by the School of Drama's faculty, staff and students led by Gregory Lehane, professor of directing.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students and can be purchased at the School of Drama box office at 412-268-2407.

The School of Music and the School of Drama are in Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into five schools: Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs. For more information on the College of Fine Arts, contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or by email

The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny Cast:
Role Performer
Leokadja Begbick Helen Karloski
Annabeth Novitzki
Fatty Brookes Decker
Trinity Moses Nathan Hylan
Michael Certo
Jenny Elizabeth DeRosa
Sara Ford
Jim Mahoney Graham Fenton
Jonathan Monk
Jake Schmidt/Toby Higgins Andrew Gehling
Alaska Wolf Joe Joel Herold
Pennybank Bill Zachary Prince
Patrick McNally
Six Women of Mahagonny Sharin Apostolou
Rebekah Diaz
Christine Free
Nicole Kaplan
Catherine Marielly
Rebecca Stanley
Male Ensemble Michael Certo
Kent Haina
Patrick McNally
Joshua Mulkey
Will Reynolds
Thomas Octave


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