Regina (1949 Broadway), Ballroom scene. Image courtesy of Photofest.

All Eyes on Marc Blitzstein in 2016

Marc Blitzstein receives some well-deserved attention this year with several notable performances scheduled throughout 2016, heralding a year of renewed interest in this often overlooked composer. Two productions of Regina take the stage in the first half of the year: Bronx Opera mounted two performances, January 16 & 17 at Lehman College (Bronx, NY); four performances will follow at the University of Maryland, College Park, April 8-16. On May 28, Curious Flights Symphony Orchestra and Festival Chorus in San Francisco will give the West Coast Premiere of The Airborne Symphony, with Alasdair Neale conducting. In the fall of 2016, Dutch radio network ConcertZender will broadcast a four-part series on Blitzstein’s life and works. All of the above projects received funding through the Kurt Weill Foundation’s Grant Program, marking the first year that the KWF has awarded funding for Blitzstein-related projects, which became eligible under its grant program in 2013.

In addition to the grant recipients, two other Blitzstein performances are on the calendar for 2016: Another production of Regina will appear onstage at Anderson University (Anderson, IN) February 19 through 21. Even Germany will get into the act when the annual Kurt Weill Fest Dessau offers a program featuring songs by Blitzstein and Weill on 28 February, performed by Alen Hodzovic and Rebecca Jo Loeb, with pianist James Holmes. Meanwhile, Blitzstein’s adaptation of Threepenny Opera remains an audience favorite.