LuPone and McDonald Visit the City of Mahagonny in 2007

Frequent co-stars Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone, who have shared the stage at the Ravinia Festival in Anyone Can Whistle and others, will once again sing side by side in a new production of the Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The show will be presented by the L.A. Opera in 2007.

The opera concerns three on-the-lam criminals who decide to found a new city of hedonism and lawlessness. McDonald will play the prostitute Jenny, who falls in love with the lumberjack Jimmy. LuPone has been cast as Mrs. Begbick, a madam. Tim Robbins will direct the opera, which will feature James Conlon as conductor.

Mahagonny premiered in Leipzig in 1930; Weill's wife Lotte Lenya in a German production that followed. Banned by the Nazis, Mahoganny was not performed again in Germany until the 1950s. The jazz-flavored opera features in its score "Alabama Song," which was later famously covered by The Doors.

McDonald is a four-time Tony Award winner for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime and most recently, A Raisin in the Sun. She has also appeared on Broadway in Henry IV and Marie Christine. Way Back to Paradise, How Glory Goes and Happy Songs are her solo albums. McDonald's film and television credits include It Runs in the Family, the network drama "Mister Sterling," the television musical version of Annie, and the HBO movie Wit. She is also acclaimed as a concert artist.

LuPone, who is currently appearing in Sweeney Todd, has been one of Broadway's foremost leading ladies since her star-making turn in 1979's Evita, for which she won a Tony Award. The star, who graduated from Julliard and was a member of John Houseman's famed Acting Company in the '70s.  Broadway credits include Noises Off, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class, Anything Goes (Tony nomination), Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Oliver!, Working, The Three Sisters, The Robber Bridegroom (Tony nomination) and The Beggar's Opera; she has also starred in Pal Joey and Can-Can at Encores! Additionally, she originated the role of Fantine in the London production of Les Miserables, starred as Norma Desmond in the 1993 West End production of Sunset Boulevard (her last appearance in a fully-staged musical), and played Genevieve in the original production of The Baker's Wife.

For more information, visit www.losangelesopera.com.


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