Florentine Opera Company
Press Release

The Florentine Opera Presents Weill’s Little Mahagonny

Return to Stage with a Grand Opera Performance and Small Orchestra

By - Apr 16th, 2021 10:49 am

SONG PLAY BY Kurt Weill. Performed in Multiple Languages.

Milwaukee-April 16, 2021- The Florentine Opera, Wisconsin’s oldest fully professional performing arts organization and the only producer of grand opera in the state, is delighted to bring Weill’s Little Mahagonny to a live audience on Friday, May 7th 2021 at 7:30pm. This performance is the first to return to the newly renovated Uihlein Hall in the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Little Mahagonny will also be available digitally, to view on-demand, starting May 27th.

This fascinating performance features the talented Baumgartner Studio Artists with some old and new Florentine friends, as they explore Weill’s 25-minute semi-staged cabaret cantata in German and English. Mahagonny is considered the Las Vegas of dreams until they arrive, and realize it doesn’t live up to the hype. Audiences will recognize music such as the Whiskey Song (Alabama Song) covered by The Doors and so many others.

“Little Mahagonny is a one-of-a kind performance. This short cabaret explores the light and dark sides of temptation and features lively scenes and solos with our fabulous artists,” said Maggey Oplinger, General Director and CEO at the Florentine Opera.  “After a challenging year, the Florentine Opera Company is overwhelmed with excitement to be able to provide in-person opera as the first group to return to Uihlein Hall.”

The second half of the show features opera’s greatest hits that highlight the current Baumgart Studio Artists and Alumni’s talents while delighting our audience with familiar scenes from big opera, continuing to explore the “grass is always greener” theme.

The Florentine’s Little Mahagonny performance is sponsored, in part, by the Kurt Weill Foundation. Kurt Weill was a German composer that came to the United States in 1935. He was one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century, known for blending popular and classical music into something wholly his own. The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the legacies of Kurt Weill and actress-singer Lotte Lenya.

“To have our interpretation of one of Weill’s most cherished works sponsored by his foundation is one of the highest honors we could receive,” Oplinger continued. “We hope we will honor Weill’s work with this unexpected, yet relatable performance.”

The City of Milwaukee Health Department recently approved the joint COVID-19 Safety Plan submitted jointly by the Marcus Performing Arts Center and the Florentine Opera, allowing the groups to host up to 50% capacity at Uihlein Hall. Seats will continue to be socially distanced and patrons are required to wear masks at all times.

The Florentine Opera is introducing a new enrichment series leading up to its mainstage performance called “Versed.” Versed is a three-part Zoom series featuring various members of the cast and creative team sharing information about the show. The series is offered free to anyone who would like to attend.

Please email tickets@florentineopera.org or call 414.291.5700 ext 224 with questions. Learn more about Weill’s Little Mahagonny at: florentineopera.org/mainstage-series/little-mahagonny

Creative Team:

Robert Tweten — Conductor
Jill Anna Ponasik — Stage Director

Cast:

Emily M. Jensen** — Soprano
Taylor-Alexis Dupont**— Mezzo-Soprano
Nathaniel Catasca**— Tenor
Nathaniel Hill — Baritone
Thomas Leighton— Tenor
Vince Wallace— Baritone
** 2020-2021 Baumgartner Studio Artist

Creative Team:
Assistant Director— Alison Pogorelc
Costume Designer —Shima Orans
Lighting Designer—Marisa Abbott
Wig and Makeup Designer—Erica Cartledge
Supertitle Prompter—Tamara Jasinski
Projection Designer—Jason Fassl
Film/Multi-Media Consultant—Steve Laughlin
Film Production Consultant— Jeffrey Kurz
Principal Coach & Pianist—Janna Ernst
Stage Manager—Jenna Link
Supertitles —Dyan Yoder, Captus Creative

A Note from the Florentine about COVID-19 Protocols:
The Florentine Opera is committed to the safety and health of our guests, cast and team members. As such, we will be following all City of Milwaukee Health Department guidelines, including mandatory face coverings, social distancing and capacity limits at our in-person performances. There will be no intermission at this performance. Please visit www.floretineopera.org/covid-19 for more information on COVID-19 protocols.

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