Com­ing up in Philly Music: The life and songs of Kurt Weill

1 minute read

Lyric Fest’s next Biography in Music concert will portray the life and music of Kurt Weill, a composer who enlivened the musical theater of two continents. Weill developed a major career in Europe before World War II, composing in classical and German cabaret-style. Then he emigrated to America to escape the Nazis and added a distinct voice to American popular music.

Musical worlds collide

Lyric Fest’s Biography in Music series combines readings from letters and other sources with songs by the subject of the program. The format has produced some of the most memorable programs Lyric Fest has presented and Kurt Weill is an ideal subject. Weill is best known for The Threepenny Opera and the song Mac the Knife but he was a prolific, versatile composer whose output includes operas, Broadway musicals, and instrumental works. His songs straddle the classical world and the world of popular music.

Actor Jim Bergwall will deliver the narration and readings. Lyric Fest’s pianist Laura Ward will do the accompaniments. The lineup for the vocalists includes Richard Troxell, a globetrotting Philadelphia-based tenor who is always a welcome presence when his schedule permits a local appearance.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility

Lyric Fest will premiere Speak Low, a Biography in Music on Saturday, May 29 at 7:30pm online. The performance is free and will be available on-demand.

Image Description: A black and white portrait photo of Kurt Weill. He's wearing a bowtie with a suit and jacket and round-framed eyeglasses.

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