As part of its innovative Horizon Series, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is presenting The Seven Deadly Sins, a programme a programme featuring music, dance and social satire in collaboration with dance company LeineRoebana.
Die sieben Todsünden der Kleinbürger by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, with whom he frequently collaborated, is a 'ballet chanté' (sung ballet) for five solo singers, one solo dancer, ballet corps and orchestra. Two Annas (the singer and her alter ego, the dancer) drag themselves from city to city to earn enough to build a little house. Anna I, sung by Wende Snijders, is the voice of conscience who tries to keep the impulsive Anna II on the straight and narrow. Thus, they pass through seven major US cities, where the 'seven deadly sins of the bourgeoisie' are rampant.
Weill's satirical narrative of civil bourgeois morality is preceded here by two other works commenting on morality. In Dmitry Shostakovich's first opera The Nose, a nose decides to lead its own life. The allegory is a reference to the Communist theory of a society in which every individual plays his or her own specific role. The Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand based his elegy Lamentation on the Disasters of War on the grimly realistic etchings Francisco de Goya made after witnessing the bloody war of independence following Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808.