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The Kurt Weill Fest Dessau, held annually in Weill’s birthplace in Germany, focuses this year on Weill as an early pioneer of radio with the theme, “Aufbruch: Weill & die Medien” (New Horizons: Weill & Media). Highlights include performances of Der Lindberghflug/Der Ozeanflug and Das Berliner Requiem, the Violin Concerto, Filmszene aus Royal Palace, a new suite of Weill songs arranged for solo violin and orchestra featuring violinist Daniel Hope, and the Staatsoperette Dresden’s hit staging of the Broadway operetta The Firebrand of Florence. The festival runs from 21 February through 9 March, with a variety of concerts, staged performances, exhibitions, lectures, films, and radio broadcasts. The 2014 Artist-in-Residence is Antony Hermus, principal conductor of the Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra Dessau.



21 February, Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Der Lindberghflug/Der Ozeanflug

Weill’s 35-minute cantata for tenor, baritone, and bass soloists, SATB chorus and orchestra, with a text by Bertolt Brecht, premiered in 1929 and reimagines the story of Charles Lindbergh’s famous trans-Atlantic flight. Paired with works by Hindemith and Edmund Meisel, Der Lindberghflug/Der Ozeanflug will be performed in the opening night concert by soloists, chorus, and orchestra of the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, led by Antony Hermus.

23 February, Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Das Berliner Requiem
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op. 12
Kleine Dreigroschenmusik

This evening highlights three Weill works for wind orchestra, performed by the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin conducted by Johannes Kalitzke. Tenor Hans Schöpflin, baritone Bernhard Hansky, and bass Bogdan Talos perform Weill’s 1929 radio cantata The Berlin Requiem (text by Bertolt Brecht); Gabriel Adorjan is the soloist in the Violin Concerto; and the wind ensemble is the star in Weill’s popular suite from The Threepenny Opera. Also on the program are two works by Franz Schreker.

28 February, Marienkirche Dessau
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, op. 12
Filmszene aus Royal Palace

Two previous festival Artists-in-Residence, Ensemble Modern and conductor James Holmes, offer an evening of Weill, Gershwin, and more, featuring Weill’s Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra and a chamber version of his Film Scene from Royal Palace, a one-act modernist opera written with lyric poet Yvan Goll–Weill’s first composition to incorporate popular dance forms, tango rhythms and jazz elements.

2 March, Eichenkranz (Wörlitz)
“Keine Winterreise”

Dessau favorites and former Artists-in-Residence Ute Gfrerer (soprano) and James Holmes (piano) return with a special song program built around poets and lyricists who have visited the historic inn Eichenkranz since it opened in 1787. Songs by Mozart, Massenet, Weill, Lehár, and others.

7 March, Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Filmszene aus Royal Palace
Kurt Weill: Fantasy for Violin

Renowned violinist Daniel Hope joins conductor Yutaka Sado and the MDR Symphony Orchestra for a concert of Weill, Debussy, Prokofiev, and Ravel. In addition to Weill’s Film Scene from Royal Palace, Hope premieres a new suite of Weill songs arranged for solo violin and orchestra.

8-9 March, Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Viel Lärm um Liebe

The Staatsoperette Dresden brings its delightful stage production of Weill’s 1945 Broadway operetta The Firebrand of Florence (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, German translation of book and lyrics by Roman Hinze) to Dessau for the grand finale to the festival. Directed by Holger Hauer and conducted by Andreas Schüller, Firebrand continues to run in repertory in Dresden through 11 May.