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Sounding the Hurricane: Mahagonny

  • Heidi Hart
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)

Abstract

Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1927–1930) is a dystopian narrative saturated with music. Though its catchy melodies such as the “Alabama Song” were meant to work in an estranging way, they have become crossover staples. Brecht’s vision of a capitalist American wasteland has been harder to assimilate into popular culture—until 2016’s political turn in the US has made such dystopia seem nearer at hand. Weill’s music works like weather pressing up against the opera’s text, not unlike the hurricane that ultimately takes the city down. In fact, the hurricane itself works as a messenger, a visiting angel of destruction, in Sybille Krämer’s sense of media transmission and John Durham Peters’ “mediafication” of earthly, elemental forces.

Keywords

V-Effekt Climate change Dystopia Opera 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA

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