MORRISTOWN, NJ - "Another Look at Kurt Weill" will be presented at The Church of the Redeemer, 36 South Street at 8:00 p.m. Saturday May 16. The performance will be performed by Coro Lirico, under the musical direction of Warren Helms.
Kurt Weill, an emigre from Germany, is considered a "cross-over" composer as he began composing primarily opera - notably The Three Penny Opera and The Rise and Fall of the CIty of Mahogany - both written when he was still in Germany. Weill's long association with Berthold Brecht helped to establish him as a prominent composer in Germany.
However, since the Nazis considered him a "decadent" Jewish composer, he fled the country in 1933 and considered himself American in every way, even insisting on speaking English in his home to his German speaking wife, Lotte Lenya. When Weill came to the United States, he felt that the Broadway theatre held more promise for him and he wrote his music almost exclusively for the stage, most notably "Lady in the Dark", "Knickerbocker Holiday", "One Touch of Venus", "Lost in the Stars", "Love Life" and what is considered to be an American opera - "Street Scene".
Weill has been noted for both his compositional skill, his inventiveness - and his penchant for dealing with controversial themes such as prostitution, apartheid, pseudo psychiatry and social satire. Weill blurred the boundaries between opera and musical theatre, mixing the elegant and the tawdry, the serious and the trivial - and is undoubtedly one of the most talented and eclectic composers of the 20th Century.
The last time a Weill concert was performed by the group, the concert sold out, organizers said. After many requests to repeat the program, the decision was made to do it again this season. Soloists include baritone Bradley Lassiter of Carthage, Texas, soprano Chelsea Friedlander of the Long Valley section of Washington Township, tenor Thomas Smargiassi of Union, and mezzo Linda Smargiassi of Williamsburg, Va.
Tickets cost $25, or $20 for students and seniors. For tickets and information, call (973) 887-6336.
Refreshments and a silent auction will be included in the evening's offering. Coro Lirico is also looking for new singers. Those interested in auditioning may call (732) 412-6668 or visit corolirico.net. Rehearsals are at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison.