The Threepenny Opera

Past Production


Gina Perregrino

Kevin Burdette
Jonathan Peachum

Ronnita Miller
Mrs. Peachum

Kelly Kaduce

Jay Hunter Morris

Tom Key
Narrator / Street Singer

Joshua Conyers

Susanne Burgess


Francesco Milioto

Tomer Zvulun
Stage Director

Bruno Baker
Assistant Director

Julia Noulin-Merat
Set Designer

Erik Teague
Costume Designer

Erin Teachman
Projection Designer

Marcella Barbeau
Lighting Designer

Jason Hines
Puppet Designer

Jon Ludwig
Puppet Collaborator

By Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann
Premiere Date: August 31, 1928: Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin

You are about to see an opera for beggars. Since this opera was conceived with a splendor only a beggar could imagine, and since it had to be so cheap even a beggar could afford it, it is called The Threepenny Opera.

The Atlanta Opera’s version is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.

An army of puppets created for this production by the Center for Puppetry Arts are led by their live doppelgängers. “Mack the Knife,” “Pirate Jenny” and ballads for broken relationships, struggle, love, life and death are the heart of the production.

Happy endings are the rule, but the ones who walk in shadow know the score.

Performed in English with English supertitles

part of the 2020-21 Molly Blank Big Tent Series
funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music

Set to a libretto by Bertolt Brecht, it was The Threepenny Opera that established Kurt Weill as one of the most successful composers of Weimar Germany. Combining cynicism and hard truths with deceptively tuneful, accessible music – including the now-beloved standards “Pirate Jenny” and “The Ballad of Mack the Knife” – the opera offers a biting satire of the establishment.

Puppets will play the prostitutes, beggars, gangsters, and constables and will be designed by Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts‘ Resident Puppet Builder Jason Hines. Emmy-nominated Artistic Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jon Ludwig will serve as puppet collaborator.

Forging an aesthetic link with the puppets that also offers additional virus protection, the singers will at times wear giant heads created by Costume Designer Erik Teague.


Get the Feeling

Costume sketches by Erik Teague

Characters & Cast


A prostitute and Macheath’s former lover

Gina Perregrino

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Jonathan Peachum

Controller of all the beggars in London; Macheath’s nemesis

Kevin Burdette

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Mrs. Peachum

Peachum’s wife; helps him run the business

Ronnita Miller

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The Peachum’s daughter

Kelly Kaduce

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London’s most notorious criminal

Jay Hunter Morris

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Top Things to Know

What to Expect

Your safety is our top priority

This outdoor experience was designed in consultation with leading experts in the fields of epidemiology, public health, workplace/industrial hygiene, and infectious diseases.
The Atlanta Opera will continue to monitor government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, government mandates, and public health notices and make changes as necessary or appropriate to ensure the safety of patrons, artists, and staff.

Social Distancing

Tickets are sold as “pods” that can accommodate either two or four people in one party. All pods will be safely distanced from each other under the Big Tent.

Stanchions, signage, and barriers will be used throughout the venue to ensure social distancing is maintained for all audience members.

Shortened Performances

In order to limit exposure, all performances are only 65 minutes in length.

Face Coverings

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone will be required to wear a face covering at all times, both inside and outside the tent for the duration of the performance(s). Click here for mask safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health Screenings

Patrons will be required to take a Health Screening Questionnaire either before arriving or on-site. Temperature checks will also be conducted prior to entry.

Reduced Contact

Ticket scanning, temperature checks, and safety screenings will be contactless and staff will be equipped with masks, face shields, and gloves to keep you safe.

Enhanced Cleaning

Hand washing and sanitizing stations will be dispersed throughout the outdoor venue and personal hand sanitizers will be available at each pod. Seats, tables, bathrooms, and every check-in station will be fully sanitized prior to and following each performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here to help

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that will help you navigate through this new experience. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please contact us at and we’ll be happy to assist you!


The Big Tent at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

All performances will be presented in a large, ventilated, open-sided tent. The tent is located in the parking lot of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


Kurt Weill
(1900 – 1950)

Kurt Weill was born on March 2, 1900 in Dessau, Germany. The son of a cantor, Weill displayed musical talent early on. By the time he was twelve, he was composing and mounting concerts and dramatic works in the hall above his family’s quarters in the Gemeindehaus. During the First World War, the teenage Weill was conscripted as a substitute accompanist at the Dessau Court Theater. After studying theory and composition with Albert Bing, Kapellmeister of the Theater, Weill enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, but found the conservative training and the infrequent lessons with Engelbert Humperdinck too stifling. After a season as conductor of the newly formed municipal theater in Lüdenscheid, he returned to Berlin and was accepted into Ferruccio Busoni’s master class in composition. He supported himself through a wide range of musical occupations, from playing organ in a synagogue to piano in a Bierkeller, by tutoring students (including Claudio Arrau and Maurice Abravanel) in music theory, and, later, by contributing music criticism to Der deutsche Rundfunk, the weekly program journal of the German radio.

By 1925, a series of performances in Berlin and at international music festivals established Weill as one of the leading composers of his generation, along with Paul Hindemith and Ernst Krenek. Already at nineteen, he decided the musical theater would be his calling. In 1926, he made a sensational theatrical debut in Dresden with his first opera, Der Protagonist, a one-act work on a text by Georg Kaiser. Weill considered Der neue Orpheus (1925), a cantata for soprano, violin, and orchestra on a poem by Iwan Goll, to be a turning point in his career; it prefigured the stylistic multiplicity and provocative ambiguity typical of his compositional style. Modernist aesthetics are most apparent in the one-act surrealist opera Royal Palace (1926) with a libretto by Iwan Goll (exceptional in its incorporation of film and dance), and the opera buffa Der Zar lässt sich photographieren (1927) with a libretto by Georg Kaiser. By this time in his career, Weill’s use of dance idioms associated with American dance music and his pursuit of collaborations with the finest contemporary playwrights had become essential strategies in his attempts to reform the musical stage.



Bertolt Brecht
(1898 – 1956)

Bertolt Brecht, original name Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (born February 10, 1898, Augsburg, Germany—died August 14, 1956, East Berlin), German poet, playwright, and theatrical reformer whose epic theatre departed from the conventions of theatrical illusion and developed the drama as a social and ideological forum for leftist causes.

Until 1924 Brecht lived in Bavaria, where he was born, studied medicine (Munich, 1917–21), and served in an army hospital (1918). From this period came his first play, Baal (produced 1923); his first success, Drums in the Night (Kleist Prize, 1922); the poems and songs collected as Die Hauspostille (1927; A Manual of Piety, 1966), his first professional production, Edward II (1924); and his admiration for Wedekind, Rimbaud, Villon, and Kipling.

During this period he also developed a violently anti-bourgeois attitude that reflected his generation’s deep disappointment in the civilization that had come crashing down at the end of World War I. Among Brecht’s friends were members of the Dadaist group, who aimed at destroying what they condemned as the false standards of bourgeois art through derision and iconoclastic satire. The man who taught him the elements of Marxism in the late 1920s was Karl Korsch, an eminent Marxist theoretician who had been a Communist member of the Reichstag but had been expelled from the German Communist Party in 1926.



Francesco Milioto

A rising star in the younger generation of conductors, Francesco Milioto is forging a unique career as a versatile interpreter of both the operatic and orchestral repertoire. He is currently Music Director of OPERA San Antonio and Artistic Advisor to the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. Mr. Milioto also enjoys guest conducting relationships with a wide variety of organizations, and cover/assistant conductor positions with several distinguished opera companies. Praised for his energy and integrity on the podium, the Chicago Tribune has said, “Milioto presided with Bernsteinesque bravura”.



Tomer Zvulun

General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera since 2013, Israeli born Tomer Zvulun is also one of leading stage director of his generation, earning consistent praise for his creative vision and innovative interpretations. His work has been presented by prestigious opera houses in Europe, South and Central America, Israel and the US, including The Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas, San Diego, Boston, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Israeli Opera, and the festivals of Wexford, Glimmerglass and Wolf Trap, as well as leading educational institutes and universities such as The Juilliard School, Indiana University, and Boston University.

Tomer spent seven seasons on the directing staff of the Metropolitan Opera where he directed revivals of Carmen and Tosca and was involved with more than a dozen new productions. He is a frequent guest director in companies such as Seattle Opera (Semele, La Bohème, Eugene Onegin, Lucia di Lammermoor), Dallas Opera (Die Fledermaus, La Bohème), Houston (Flying Dutchman, Rigoletto), Wexford Festival (Silent Night, Dinner at Eight), Cincinnati Opera (Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Flying Dutchman), Wolf Trap (Falstaff, Don Giovanni), Israeli Opera (Dead Man Walking, Giulio Cesare) among others. His European premiere of Silent Night at the Wexford Festival received two Irish Times Awards and traveled from Ireland to Washington National Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival and the opera companies of Atlanta, Austin and Salt Lake City.


The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music

The Kurt Weill Foundation, Inc. promotes and perpetuates the legacies of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya by encouraging an appreciation of Weill’s music through support of performances, recordings, and scholarship, and by fostering an understanding of Weill’s and Lenya’s lives and work within diverse cultural contexts. It administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant and Collaborative Performance Initiative Program, the Lotte Lenya Competition, the Kurt Weill/Julius Rudel Conducting Fellowship, the Kurt Weill Prize  for scholarship in music theater, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter. Building upon the legacies of both Weill and Lenya, the Foundation nurtures talent, particularly in the creation, performance, and study of musical theater in its various manifestations and media. Since 2012, the Kurt Weill Foundation has administered the musical and literary estate of composer Marc Blitzstein.