“The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny”

Performed by Opera Boston, February 2007
By Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill
Directed by Sam Helfrich
Choreography by Gayle Gibbons Madeira
Photos ©Clive Grainger 2007

“The final tableau is chilling as bright florescent lights descend and the cast twitches unnervingly to the beat. The movement suggests both the plight of automatons caught in a system beyond their control, and average citizens engaged in a kind of proto-march that could morph at any moment into a goose step.”

—Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

“…gritty and contemporary… The cast — all opera singers, unamplified — played the denizens of Mahagonny as rough, unglamorous and desperate. It was a tighter, more absorbing production than the one in L.A., and it made its point more clearly.”

—Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

“Scantily-clad females flashing spread-eagle poses, plenty of cleavage, panty and bra-clad girls bumping and grinding on stage to taunt the men, and men cavorting around in boxer shorts and t-shirts, this is not a promo for a soft-porn DVD, but rather Opera Boston’s brilliantly executed and flawlessly performed take on Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht’s nightmarish vision of a town where crime pays, money talks and being unable to pay a bill is a capitol offense. This production which premiered in Boston on Friday evening, February 23rd was a huge success in every way…collaborating in this very seductive and hypnotic production was a team…choreographer Gayle Madeira (love those bumps and grinds) gave us a beautifully choreographed ensemble, not missing a single actor on stage”

—Paul Joseph Walkowski, Opera Online

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY award from Opera Online: The winner is GAYLE MADEIRA for Opera Boston’s production of “Mahagonny.”

As noted earlier, the dance sequences for Opera Boston’s “Mahagonny” were spellbinding and hypnotic, and gave this opera a genuine “Cabaret” look and feel so much so that it actually lifted the score above what it would otherwise deserve. With choreography that good, it’s hard not to acknowledge it as the “Best Of” what we saw in this category.