Anna Maria Chiuri, Voce Solista
Paolo Ciaffi Ricagno, Regia e Voce Narrante
Massimo Ferraguti, Capomacchina
The success of the Threepenny Opera definitively set the seal on the partnership of Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht, and just a year after the premier of what was to go down in history as their greatest success, they started work on a new musical with book by Elisabeth Hautpmann (writing under the pseudonym of Dorothy Lane), called Happy End.
It has an underworld plot of gang warfare also involving the Salvation Army, which attempts to redeem a gang of thieves, murderers and drunkards, the Balhaus band, and lead them back onto the straight and narrow. There is no need to say whether the Salvation Army will succeed in its purifying mission, since the opera's ending is very clearly revealed by its title.
The piece's satirical intent is clear from the outset.
In the Saxofollia Project version, the musical retains its traditional framework. The book and some of the lyrics have been translated into Italian and the story is told by a narrator who skilfully plays the main characters, assisted in the dialogues by the wonderful Anna Maria Chiuri, who combines her vocal skill with an impressive theatrical vein.
Her burnished timbre and wide vocal range also enable Anna Maria to interpret all the songs, for both female and male characters (the latter en travesti) to great effect.
The instrumental forces are much the same as in the original, which included two saxophones; in the Saxofollia version, the soprano and baritone saxes substitute for the trumpet and trombone.
The entire show is anchored by Massimo Ferraguti, nicknamed "The Chief Engineer", who plays this role admirably, becoming actor, narrator and musician in turns.
A musical with a highly contemporary theme, fast-moving and packed with dramatic plot twists, brought back to life by the wonderful voice of Anna Maria Chiuri, together with the flair and creativity of Saxofollia.