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The Threepenny Opera and the Musical Gestus of Kurt Weill

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documents in English
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term papers
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7 pages
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General public
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  1. Introduction.
  2. Weill's contribution to the gestic concept of The Threepenny Opera.
    1. The lyrical gestus and the musical gestus.
    2. Satirical gest thrust upon the audience.
  3. The music for 'Mac the Knife'.
  4. The Moritat-motif of the added sixth crops.
  5. Macheath and Jenny's 'Ballad of Immoral Earnings'.
  6. Conclusion: Weill's essay 'Gestus and Music'.
  7. Bibliography.

These characteristics which Salten describes seem to relate to the concept of gestus, which is a difficult word to interpret but nevertheless has become the crucial link connecting Brecht's theories of acting, playwriting and theatrical production. In epic theatre, actors become demonstrators of a character, rather than the characters themselves (rather than using Stanislavsky's method of acting, which relies on an actor "stepping into a character's shoes"). Brecht intended his actors to always remember that they were playing another person's story and emotions. Most importantly, epic performers are always concerned with wider social relations, rather than the egoism of becoming wrapped up in one's character. Gestus expresses these wider social relations with "the idea of contradiction and opposition and the need to find a visible and theatrically effective way of expressing both opposites and the unity of these opposites" (Morley 186).

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