• Description
  • Personnel
  • Songs
“Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht
“I am unable to set the communist party manifesto to music.” – Kurt Weill
Siri Vik and colleagues explore the short, fraught, and thoroughly intriguing collaboration of composer Kurt Weill (1900-50) and poet/playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956). In the program’s first set, Vik is joined by Robert Ashens and chamber ensemble and vocalists Caitlin Christopher, William Hulings and Dylan Stasack in a selection of songs from Mahagonny-Songspiel (1927), The Threepenny Opera (1928), Happy End (1929), and Rise And Fall of the City of Mahogonny (1930).
In the second set Vik and performance corps are joined by Ashens and chamber orchestra in a faithfully-researched and staged re-creation of Brecht and Weill’s final collaboration, The Seven Deadly Sins as premiered by George Balanchine’s short-lived dance company, Les Ballets in June 1933 in Paris (as Les sept péchés capitaux ) and London (as Anna-Anna ) with Weill’s wife Lotte Lenya and Austrian dancer Tilly Losch together in the role of the protagonist Anna, a young woman from Louisiana sent away by her parents for seven years to earn money for a new family house. Robert Ashens conducts, William Hulings directs, Caitlin Christopher choreographs; the setting is realized by Connie Huston and costumes are executed by Jamie Parker. Sara Stockwell assumes the role of Anna II alongside Vik’s Anna I, who are together supported by vocalists William Hulings, Dylan Stasack, Cloud Pemble, Alex Mentzel, and dancers Jim Ballard, Adam Kelly, Kenady Conforth and Abigail Howell. It will be performed in the English translation of W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman.
Mounting a production of Weill’s and Brecht’s unusual “sung ballet” that is reoriented to the piece’s original 1933 intellectual context and philosophical timbre has been a long-standing dream for artistic director Siri Vik, a Weill scholar, and Shedd executive director and producer Jim Ralph, a lifelong admirer of Brecht. The Seven Deadly Sins has become a staple of ballet, opera and the classical music world in the sixty years since it was pulled from obscurity by Balanchine in 1958 and set on his New York City Ballet. But while the many re-creations of the 40-minute work over those decades (both as a ballet in the mold of Balanchine’s re-visioning and as a concert piece) have made The Seven Deadly Sins an oft-performed cultural mainstay, the process served Weill’s superb score well but has dulled its essential Brechtian worldview at the base of the original biting critique of capitalism and its capacity to destroy the human spirit, a socio-political morality play which turned the 4th century Christian teaching of the desert fathers on its head in order to expose the soul-draining effects of the modern socio-economic order as it existed for the petit bourgeoisie of which the ballet’s heroine, Anna, is a part. It is with great pride that The Shedd presents our attempt to restore to the piece, as much as is possible, “the hammer” of its original telling, as re-created with sensitivity and brilliance by Vik and her creative team.
Event Personnel
Creative Team
Siri Vik, artistic director
Robert Ashens, conductor, 7DS music director
Caitlin Christopher, choreographer
Bill Hulings, stage director
Siri Vik, soprano, Anna I
Sara Stockwell, Anna II
Bill Hulings, mother, recital vocalist
Cloud Pemble, father
Dylan Stasack, boy 1, recital vocalist
Alex Mentzel, boy 2
Caitlin Christopher, recital vocalist
Nathalie Fortin, piano, harmonium, accordion
(1927) Mahagonny-Songspiel Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
 Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man
("As You Make Your Bed")
(1930) Rise And Fall Of The City of Mahagonny (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
(1928) The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
("Canon Song")
(1928) The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
 Das Eifersuchtsduett
("Jealosy Duet")
(1928) The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
("Pimp's Ballad")
(1928) The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
 Bilbao Song
(1929) Happy End Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
 Der Song von der Mandelay
("Mandalay Song")
(1929) Happy End Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
 Surabaya Johnny
(1929) Happy End Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)
-- Intermission --
 The Seven Deadly Sins
(Die sieben Todsünden)
(1933) Bertolt Brecht (w) Kurt Weill (m)

Ticket/Venue Info
The Seven Deadly Sins Ticket Prices
Discount Prices
AA38.00  34.25  32.50  30.50  -  
A36.00  32.50  30.75  29.00  -  
B32.00  29.00  27.25  25.75  -  
C28.00  25.25  24.00  22.50  -  
Youth Free0.00  0.00  0.00  0.00  -  
Jaqua Concert Hall
The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts
285 E Broadway
Eugene, Oregon
The Eye Center
Shedd Presenting Sponsor