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The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
E-News April 2014
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The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music E-News
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2014 Lotte Lenya Competition - Ben Edquist
Ben Edquist, First Prize


2014 Lotte Lenya Competition - Arlo Hill
Arlo Hill, Second Prize


Natalie Ballenger, Third Prize
Natalie Ballenger, Third Prize
Outstanding Singer/Actors Win Top Prizes in Lotte Lenya Competition

Ben Edquist, of Houston, won the $15,000 First Prize in the finals of the 2014 Lotte Lenya Competition, held on April 12, 2014, in Kilbourn Hall of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Arlo Hill, of New York, won the Second Prize of $10,000, and the Third Prize of $7,500 was awarded to Natalie Ballenger, also of New York.


This year’s panel of judges included two-time Tony Award winner Judy Kaye, Broadway conductor and New York City Center Encores! Music Director Rob Berman, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Artistic Director James Robinson. Finalists were selected from a pool of 200 contestants, with 29 adjudicated and coached in a semifinal round by Rebecca Luker and Jeanine Tesori.


Each of the 14 finalists presented four selections ranging from opera or operetta to contemporary musical theater. Edquist, the youngest of the finalists, impressed the judges with a compelling and nuanced program comprised of “Me” from Beauty and the Beast, “Lonely Town” from On the Town, “This is New” from Lady in the Dark, and “She Called Him ‘Curt’” from Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. Hill especially stood out for his performances of “I am a pirate king” from The Pirates of Penzance and “Buddy’s Blues” from Follies, and Ballenger for Weill’s “Je ne t’aime pas” and “I Want Magic!” from Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.


The Kurt Weill Foundation distributed a record $65,000 in prizes this year. In addition to the top prizes, the finals judges presented four Lys Symonette Awards of $3,500 each, named in honor of Weill’s musical assistant on Broadway. Awards for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number went to Robert Ariza, of Ann Arbor, Mich., for “She’s a Woman” from Kiss of the Spider Woman; Diana Rose Becker, of Northport, N.Y., for “Emily’s Goodbye Aria” from Ned Rorem’s Our Town; and Briana Elyse Hunter, of New York, for “I Never Has Seen Snow” from House of Flowers. A fourth Lys Symonette Award went to Katie Travis, of New York, for Outstanding Dramatic Interpretation of her program. The remaining seven finalists each received an award of $1,000: Rachel Cordeiro, of New York; Norman Garrett, of Silver Spring, Md.; Carter Lynch, of  New York; Lauren Michelle, of New York; Heather Phillips, of Philadelphia; Jim Schubin, of Matawan, N.J.; and Mikalai Znaharchuk, of Minsk, Belarus.

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Signature Threepenny

Virginia's Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre Takes on The Threepenny Opera

Eighty-five years after The Threepenny Opera first took Europe by storm, Weill and Brecht’s groundbreaking work remains one of the world’s best-loved and most popular works of musical theater. This month, the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre in Virginia presents The Threepenny Opera for the first time, in a production directed by Matthew Gardiner and music directed by Gabe Mangiante (April 22 - June 1). Mitchell Jarvis stars as Macheath, and Natascia Diaz as Jenny.


Threepenny can also be seen this month in New York at the Atlantic Theater Company, directed by Martha Clarke and starring F. Murray Abraham, Laura Osnes, Michael Park, and Mary Beth Piel (extended through May 11); in a UK touring production by Graeae Theatre Company (through May 10); and in Germany at Nationaltheater Mannheim (April 20, 28) and Schauspiel Leipzig (April 21; May 1, 13). See below for details.


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The Threepenny Opera, Signature Theatre

The Threepenny Opera, Signature Theatre
Mitchell Jarvis as Macheath.
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F. Murray Abraham in The Threepenny Opera, Atlantic Theater Company
F. Murray Abraham as Mr. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera at the Atlantic Theater Company

Die Dreigroshenoper, Nationaltheater Mannheim
Michael Fuchs as Mackie Messer in Die Dreigroschenoper at Nationaltheater Mannheim

The Threepenny Opera, Graeae Theatre Company
Cici Howells as Polly in the Graeae Theatre Company's Threepenny Opera


Upcoming Performances
The Threepenny Opera
Martha Clarke, director; Gary Fagin, conductor.
Now through May 11

Mahagonny Songspiel
With members of the Berlin Philharmonic; Alexander Fahima, director; Stanley Dodds, conductor.
April 19

Die Dreigroschenoper
Alejandro Tantanian, director; Joe Völker, conductor.
April 20, 28

Die Dreigroschenoper
Philip Tiedemann, director; Anthony Bramall, conductor.
April 21; May 1, 13

The Threepenny Opera
Jenny Sealey, Peter Rowe, directors; Robert Hyman, conductor.
April 24 - May 10

Mahagonny Songspiel
Opera Parallèle, San Francisco (USA)
April 25-27

The Firebrand of Florence
Holger Hauer, director; Andreas Schüller, conductor.
April 27; May 6, 11

Suite from The Threepenny Opera
Bramwell Tovey, conductor; Joan Blackman, violin.
April 27

Kurt Weill Performance Calendar
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