Since opening at the Sydney Theatre at the start of September,
the Victorian Opera/Malthouse production of The Threepenny Opera has
inspired discussion about and praise for the arrangement of the
score performed by the orchestra. There have been suggestions the
music is a "new" arrangement of Weill's original score. Here,
conductor Richard Gill clears up this misconception...
The score and parts currently being
used in the performances of The Threepenny Opera
now playing at Sydney Theatre, are
from the 2000 Kurt Weill Foundation edition of the work. The score
is in no way an arrangement of mine and I have no idea how this
deduction has been made.
It is known that there are at least
five separate sources for this work including a holograph of Kurt
Weill's - that is a score in his own hand and signed by him -
together with emendations and additions the work developed. The
Hinton/ Harsh edition of the work, the edition we are using, makes
this point very clear at the outset. The scholarship is impeccable
and the efforts one expects to have been made to authenticate
material have been made over and over again.
The instrumental forces we are using
are, as far as I know and I have researched this thoroughly, are
exactly the same instrumental forces used by the Lewis Ruth Band in
1928 and reflected in the current score.
In the score there are comments on
almost every number dealing with the disposition of the orchestra,
that is the way the music had been allocated to the instruments
with suggestions for changes, one assumes made by Weill as no other
source is noted; for example trombone is sometimes notated as
trombone OR violoncello. There are also suggestions for the ways in
which the chords written for the guitar, banjo, mandolin and
Hawaiian guitar might be realised with some suggestions made as to
what might be left out or what might be added.
So, in short, every note being heard
in this production is as Weill wrote it and not a single note comes
from me. I wish I could write as Weill does!
Richard Gill, Conductor
Opera, Sydney Theatre, 1 - 24 September, 2011.