Blitzkrieg Cabaret

What better way to celebrate Kurt Weill’s birthday than listening to his songs, cabaret style, with a beer or three.  Well that’s what we did on Saturday as Blitzkrieg Cabaret opened a new run of Saturday afternoon shows at the Dakota Tavern.

We got three singers; Danie Friesen, Hilary June Hart, Jackson Welchner supported by Nick Donovan (drums), Colin Frotten (piano), and Andrew Downing (bass) with Hilary also chipping in on the accordion on occasion.  While Danie is a classically trained singer, Hilary and Jackson sound more comfortable in a jazzier idiom.  That, plus the make up of the band meant that the show tended to the “Sinatraesque” version of Weill rather than, say, the grittiness of Pabst’s Dreigroschenoper movie.  This was reflected in both choice of translation and performing style.  I think this works for some of Weill’s stuff but it doesn’t work for me so well with the Brecht lyrics.  I’ll go for Marx over McCarthy anytime!  Other people may feel differently.

blitzkrieg

Continue reading

Susannah in St. Petersburg

It’s an odd quirk of opera broadcasting that relatively few video recordings of operas get made in North America and those that do are almost all recorded at the Met.  This means that works that are standard rep on the west side of the pond but rarer in Europe may be very slow to get a video release, if they get one at all.  Now Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah is just such a work.  It’s the second most performed US opera after Porgy and Bess but has only just appeared on video for the first time.

sus1

Continue reading