Best known for The Threepenny Opera, which was written in 1928 in conjunction with librettist Bertold Brecht, Kurt Weill (1900-1950) came to prominence in 1920s Germany and helped to create the soundtrack for the Weimar Republic. Other works from the period include The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (again, to a libretto by Brecht) and The Seven Deadly Sins. The son of a rabbi, Weill realised straightaway that Nazi Germany was no place for him and fled to Paris in the very first days of the Hitler regime. In 1935 he left Europe altogether and settled in New York where he wrote for the Broadway stage. His American works include Knickerbocker HolidayOne Touch of Venus and Street Scene. Among his best known songs are ‘Mack the Knife’, ‘The Alabama Song’ and ‘Surabaya Johnny’. Weill’s wife was the singer Lotte Lenya, who sang in the original productions of some of his works (she created the role of Jenny in The Threepenny Opera) and achieved big-screen notoriety as the villainess in the early James Bond film, From Russia with Love.

© Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra