They always do that, of course — in the opera, that is: Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny depicts a fabulous metropolis of
pleasure sin that rises in the midst of nowhere and attracts multitudes of people and money.
This particular Mahagonny is one of the centerpieces of the 2007 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, which draws audiences from not only the Southeast, but the entire U.S. and beyond. Already, enthusiastic reviews have run not just in the local Post and Courier but also in newspapers from Columbia (the state capital), Charlotte, Atlanta and even Toronto, not to mention The New York Times. (Many of those critics have also visited a blessed little island nearby.)
The well-traveled directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier have directed the production, of which we offer a few glimpses below. The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny has a final performance this Saturday (June 9) at the Sottile Theater in downtown Charleston; more information about the entire festival is available at www.spoletousa.org.
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All photos by William Struhs for Spoleto Festival USA.