The albumL’opéra de quat’sous on Alpha Classics presents the songs from The Threepenny Opera in a new French translation by Alexandre Pateau. The recording was made at the 2023 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence during the run of the new production of the legendary work by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann, which features the troupe of the Comédie-Française and the musicians of Le Balcon, conducted by Maxime Pascal with Thomas Ostermeier as Stage Director. In this parody of an opera, the songs are the driving force behind the action and the characters are the bourgeois lifestyle of the audience, the better to denounce the period of moral confusion they are going through.
With Maxime Pascal at the helm of a dozen multi-instrumentalists from Le Balcon, we hear a version based on that of the first performance – hard-hitting and as close as possible to the tremendous creative energy deployed by the two creators of the work in the summer of 1928 – acted and sung by the troupe of the Comédie-Française, who rise to all its challenges with brio. Other special features of this album are a previously unrecorded song on a text by Yvette Guilbert and the linking texts between the songs read in French by Ostermeier himself. As Diapason wrote of this production, “Almost a century after its premiere, The Threepenny Opera has lost none of its subversive power.”