The Shedd Institute is extremely pleased to present soprano Siri Vik and accompanist Nathalie Fortin in an evening filled with a fascinating selection of songs from the work of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. Of the program, Vik writes,
"The power in these songs comes from the absolutely unapologetic, unsentimental, storytelling of Brecht’s characters, set against the aching poignancy and simplicity of Weill’s music.
"Excepting Lotterie-agent’s tango and Weill’s most famous song, 'Mack the Knife', every song is a sharply drawn sketch of a woman in a moment of time, dealing with whatever life has thrown her way. They are often snapshots of a woman from the underbelly, that society has forgotten. The fascination is in the brutal, rough-edged honesty of these women in extreme, yet time again we see the vulnerability, humor, and joy under their tough exteriors. There’s Brecht for you.
"And yet, Weill adds this other layer with his setting of Brecht’s texts. This music is positively infectious – catchy, joyful, danceable--even as he matches Brecht tone for tone in his painful dissonance and brutal percussiveness. His music contains this sweetness, this unimaginable simplicity.
"These are stark portraits. Powerful, controversial statements on society. and underneath, is great fragility and beauty."