Mid-Season Office Update

Apologies for the prolonged quiet spell here on the blog, it’s been a while! Since The Threepenny Opera, things have been a bit hectic around the office, so here are a few items of note to catch you up:

  • Last Tuesday, we bid adieu to our general director of six seasons, Allan Naplan. It was of course sad, and we had fun reflecting on the growth of Madison Opera over the past six years, but we also know that Allan has a great opportunity ahead as the new president and general director of Minnesota Opera.
  • Speaking of the general director, our search for Allan’s replacement has been under way for some time now and it is going very well. The fantastic Catherine French Group has been working closely with our Board of Trustees to review top-notch candidates and to ensure a smooth transition period for the company.
  • While February has mostly been about our seven sold-out performances of Threepenny, the real action in the office right now is all about the 2011-2012 season! Before Allan’s last day, we were busily finalizing plans for next season, and it is going to be a thrilling one, for many reasons that I cannot share at this point in time (shameless teaser, I know). All forces here are working hard on everything that needs to come together before the season announcement, from grant applications to brochure design, so stay tuned!
  • And of course, we have La Traviata coming up in April. And our Golden Anniversary Gala. And the launch of OUT @ THE OPERA, our new LGBT geared affinity group for Madison Opera fans. Needless to say, all of this is also contributing to the pace around here!
  • Last but not least, we have to offer a hearty congratulations to our marketing and development associate Laura Albrecht. Laura is currently completing her MBA at the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business, and she originally hails from Austin, Texas. Needless to say, after just a year and a half in Madison, she has earned a lifetime supply of Midwestern street-cred by doing the polar plunge this past Saturday!
Marketing and development associate Laura Albrecht (far left) jumps into a freezing Lake Monona this past Saturday. You can’t do that in Texas!

The reviews are in: Threepenny’s a hit!

The first weekend of The Threepenny Opera is over and the reviews are in! Here’s what people are saying:

“This Threepenny Opera is a provocative but, above all, lively and thoroughly entertaining presentation. It is clearly the most successful and brilliant of the mid-season mini-productions that the Madison Opera has brought us. And it demonstrates the debt we owe to the directorship of Allan Naplan.”
-John Barker, The Isthmus

“With a score by Kurt Weill, story by theater revolutionary Bertolt Brecht, and a translation by Marc Blitzstein, this “Threepenny” is smart, sardonic and utterly entertaining.”
-Lindsay Christians, The Capital Times

“So here’s the good news and the bad news: the production is full of strong contributions and still manages to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts, but all seven performances were sold out before last Friday’s opening.”
-Greg Hettmansberger, Local Sounds Magazine

“The production rises above potential artistic squalor while still reveling in the narrative’s seedy milieu. Threepenny’s wink-and-a-nod at the operatic genre, its audience and the social issues raised combine to create a work that masters its material rather than submerging beneath the weight of its parts.”
Mike and Jean Muckian, Brava Magazine: Culturosity

“‘Threepenny Opera a Bankable Success’….Tracy Michelle Arnold is always wonderful in everything she does and she is wonderful in this role. Her cabaret twang is perfect for [Jenny] and she’s a lot of fun to watch.”
-Bill Wineke, Channel3000.com

“This weekend at the Overture Center, Madison Opera’s production of “The Threepenny Opera” will surely transform any predispositions about the art form with its entertainingly powerful message, wonderfully jazzy score and quirky humor.”
Katie Foran-McHale, The Badger Herald

“….Madison Opera’s thoroughly engaging and stylishly energetic production.”
Jake Stockinger, The Well-Tempered Ear

Thank you to the enthusiastic audiences that came out for Threepenny this weekend and to those who’ve already filled up the The Playhouse for next weekend: it is your support that has made this run an incredible success already! We’ll keep this page updated as more reviews come in, and if you’d like to learn more about Madison Opera’s production of The Threepenny Opera, visit our website, view this list of recent preview articles, or check out photos from the final dress rehearsal.

Sneak Peek: Threepenny Opera Edition

The final dress rehearsal for The Threepenny Opera was held last night in The Playhouse. Here’s an exclusive sneak peek of this sold-out production, which opens tonight….

Beggars and the prostitute Jenny Diver (Tracy Michelle Arnold) during the Overture.

Mack the Knife’s gang: Walt Dreary (Bart Terrell), Bob the Saw (Paul Kennedy), Ready Money Matt (Alex Cotant), and Crookfinger Jake (Joseph Lullo).

The newly weds Macheath (James DeVita) and Polly Peachum (Alicia Berneche).

Mack and his girls: Molly (Meghan Randolph), Coaxer (Lisa Bozec Maletic), Betty (Kristen Hammargren), and Dolly (Leslie Cao), along with the women of the house, Marja Barger and Katya Kashaeva.

Jenny Diver sings of her twisted pirate fantasy.

The bell tolls for the notorious Mack the Knife.

All photos by Andy Manis.

Mack the Knife storms the press!

The Threepenny Opera has been generating lots of buzz in the local press. Here’s a round-up of previews, with insights from John DeMain, Dorothy Danner, Alicia Berneche, and Mackie himself, Jim DeVita.

Wisconsin Gazette, “Look out, old Mackie is back in town”

The Well-Tempered Ear, “Threepenny links great depression of today…”

The Examiner, “The Threepenny Opera: A fairy tale for our time?”

Madison Magazine, “A New Role”

77 Square, “APT actors star in dark, satirical Threepenny Opera”

The Isthmus, “The Threepenny Opera is a modern masterpiece about depravity”

A.V. Club Madison, “Despite it’s name, The Threepenny Opera isn’t an opera at all” 

Photos by Andy Manis.