E-NEWS: Critical Edition of Johnny Johnson Published; Summer Preview!
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Kurt Weill Foundation E-news
June 2012

Kurt Weill Edition Releases
Johnny Johnson

Weill's First American Stage Work Published in Full Score

Johnny Johnson playbills:Neue Oper Wien, Theatre de Caen, Theater des Westens, Broadway, Opera Factory

The Kurt Weill Edition has just released its latest volume, Johnny Johnson (Series I, Volume 13), edited by musicologist Tim Carter of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

"Mon Ami, My Friend" sheet music coverOriginally produced by the legendary Group Theatre in 1936, Johnny Johnson marked Weill’s first contribution to the American musical theater. With book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, the anti-war musical opened in November 1936 on Broadway, where it enchanted audiences and critics alike. Lee Strasberg directed, and the cast included a young Elia Kazan. When the production closed in 1937, the Federal Theatre Project took up the work and mounted major productions in Boston and Los Angeles. Although Johnny Johnson enjoyed frequent performances by regional and amateur theaters—even a brief Broadway revival in 1971—the work’s publication record left much to be desired. Less than a handful of songs were available as sheet music, and the only published vocal score was deeply flawed.

For the Kurt Weill Edition of Johnny Johnson, Carter drew on a vast array of surviving source materials, including not only Weill’s manuscripts but also rehearsal scores and sets of instrumental parts, often containing several layers of chaotic performance annotations. The edition presents Johnny Johnson in full score, with the complete spoken text placed between the musical numbers. Carter’s magisterial introductory essay illuminates the work’s genesis and performance history, the editorial process, and performance issues. Eleven plates with facsimiles illustrate editorial challenges and solutions. A separately published critical report documents every step of the editorial process and provides additional information for future stagings.
Weill’s ingenious orchestration for Johnny Johnson, recalling those for The Threepenny Opera and Mahagonny Songspiel, requires 11 players: clarinet, alto sax, 2 trumpets, trombone, 2 violins, cello, guitar, percussion and Hammond organ. New performance materials (parts and vocal score) derived from the edition will be available for rental in autumn 2012.
Tim Carter, David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an expert on early baroque opera, Mozart’s operas, and Broadway musicals. His landmark study of Oklahoma! was published in 2007 by Yale University Press.

Kurt Weill Edition (Series I, Volume 13): Johnny Johnson, ed. Tim Carter (New York: Kurt Weill Foundation for Music / European American Music Corporation, 2012). Main Volume: 348 pp.; Critical Report: 116 pp. ISBN: 978-0-913574-69-0. Sales Price: $440 ($295 for subscribers). Order no. KWE 1013.

Lenya Competition NewsLotte Lenya Competition

  • The first-ever radio broadcast of the Lenya Competition will be aired by WOMR, Providence, Massachusetts, on Monday, July 9 at 1 pm. Cape Cod listeners can tune in to 92.1 FM; others can stream it live from the WOMR website. Enjoy!
  • The 2012 prize winners’ performances are up on YouTubeWatch Matthew Grills, Jacob Keith Watson, Justin Hopkins, Megan Marino, Natalie Ballenger, and Maria Failla sing their programs.
  •  Contestants ages 19-32 may audition in 2013 As we gear up to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Lenya Competition in 2013, please note that the eligible age has been extended to 32. Full guidelines and applications for 2013 will be posted online in August. Spread the word!
​Learn more about the Lotte Lenya Competition >>

On the Web

The Great Patti LuPone
Brand-new Manhattan club 54 Below hosts Patti LuPone in a brand-new cabaret evening, "Far Away Places," featuring three Weill songs.

An unusually rich and diverse group of recordings featuring Weill songs have appeared in the realms of pop, jazz, and cabaret in the first half of 2012.

Mahagonny Revived in Berlin
Andreas Homoki's 2006 production returns for five performances at the Komische Oper in June.

Renowned dance and opera critic--and Weill champion--Horst Koegler passed away on 11 May in Germany.

SUMMER PREVIEWFrom top: Mahagonny at Komische Oper Berlin; Dagmar Manzel, Die sieben Todsuenden at Komische Oper Berlin; Bebe Neuwirth; James Conlon; Eric Owens; HK Gruber.

Upcoming Performances

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Komische Oper Berlin, GERMANY
Andreas Homoki, director; Martin Hoff, conductor.
23, 30 June

Sieben Songs von Weill / Die sieben Todsünden
Barrie Kosky, director; Kristiina Poska, conductor; Dagmar Manzel, Anna I.
2 July
Weill songs
Bebe Neuwirth, vocals.
15 July 
Magical Night (Zaubernacht)
Ravinia Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, USA
James Conlon, conductor; Janai Brugger, soprano.
19 July
Lost in the Stars
Oliver Desbordes, director; Dominique Trottein, conductor.
French tour, 19 July 2012 – 12 April 2013
Lost in the Stars
Glimmerglass Festival, Cooperstown, New York, USA
Tazewell Thompson, director; John DeMain, conductor; Eric Owens, Stephen Kumalo and Sean Pannikar, Leader.
22 July – 25 August
Die sieben Todsünden
Bregenz Festival, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, AUSTRIA
HK Gruber, conductor; Gun-Brit Barmkin, Anna I.
6 August

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The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., administers, promotes, and perpetuates the legacies of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. It encourages broad dissemination and appreciation of Weill’s music through support of performances, productions, recordings, and scholarship; it fosters understanding of Weill’s and Lenya’s lives and work within diverse cultural contexts; and, building upon the legacies of both, it nurtures talent, particularly in the creation, performance, and study of musical theater in its various manifestations and media.

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