Review: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra stages Weill’s anti-apartheid “Lost in the Stars”

Posted on: February 2, 2017

“Premiered on Broadway in 1950 and based on South African novelist Alan Paton’s anti-apartheid bestseller, ‘Cry, the Beloved Country,’ ‘Lost in the Stars’ is the theatrical collaboration between an émigré composer who had fled Nazi Germany and American playwright Maxwell Anderson,” writes Mark Swed in Tuesday’s (1/31) Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Sunday staged performance of Kurt Weill’s opera was “the culmination of music director Jeffrey Kahane’s ‘Lift Every Voice’ project. The January series of concerts and talks looked at ways the American emigres and activists Weill, Rabbi Joachim Prinz and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. resisted injustice…. [Director Anne] Bogart emptied [the stage], leaving its back brick wall to become backdrop for her SITI Company, which formed a large ensemble of actors and dancers and chorus.… Every character in ‘Lost in the Stars’ wants empowerment. The empowerer is the chorus leader, here the imposing heldentenor Issachah Savage…. If ‘Stars’ came to be seen as a relic, it no longer seems so. The sheer musical strength of Kahane’s unerring dramatic pace, enhanced by an ideally tart orchestra (Weill removes the violins) went a long way in finding what has been lost in ‘Lost in the Stars.’ ”

Posted February 2, 2017