Monday 23rd April
The Life and Times of Kurt Weill
Dive into the decadent and darkly humorous world of Kurt Weill, spanning the 1920s to the 1940s, from the glitz of Germany’s Weimar Republic to the glittering lights of Broadway. Having risen to fame in his home country in the 1920s, and forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 for the United States, Weill reinvented his style and incorporated American elements, writing music that supported the American war effort. He also wrote a number of musicals, including Street Scene and Mahagonny and Threepenny Opera, which was the first musical theatre piece performed in Berlin after the end of WWII.
Conductor Luke Di Somma returns to lead the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and talented stage stars Amelia Berry, Phoebe Hurst and Kristian Lavercombe in a showcase of Weill’s most famous works, including Mack the Knife, Alabama Song and Pirate Jenny, as well as the flurry of songs that were inspired by him, like Cabaret and The Cradle Will Rock.
“I’m thrilled to be coming home for a fantastic concert with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Weill – From Berlin to Broadway,” said Luke, who splits his time between New Zealand and the UK. “We’re going to explore the music of Kurt Weill, the great German music theatre composer, [and] also his legacy in terms of some of the music that he inspired. We’re going to do Cabaret (Kander & Ebb), new orchestrations of old Kurt Weill songs, as well as some more modern musical theatre like Spring Awakening [and] Hedwig and the Angry Inch, so there’s something in there for everybody. It’s a really dynamic, eclectic, exciting programme and we’ve got three fantastic singers to deliver this for you. So I can’t wait to see everybody on Saturday May 12th at the beautiful Isaac Theatre Royal as we go from Berlin to Broadway.”
Kristian, who played Riff Raff in the West End’s live cinema broadcast of the Rocky Horror Show and has most recently reprised the role in the show’s Australian tour, had studied for several years in Christchurch. “Christchurch is the city I studied in and also where I first worked as an actor and singer. Coming back to perform in Christchurch after several years overseas is going to be like a homecoming for me,” he said. “I've always been an admirer of Kurt Weill's music. In fact, most of the modern musicals that inspire me seem to have taken their inspiration from his work. Getting an opportunity to sing his songs with a symphonic orchestra is simply a dream come true.”