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From Berlin to Hollywood

Bergmann Piano Duo with Onalea Gilbertson. Photo of Bergmann Duo by Matt Jacques. Photo of Onalea Gilbertson by Elizabeth Romanski

From Berlin to Hollywood

Studio Theatre at Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Avenue

Date & Time:
April 19, 2018 at 11am (social hour at 10am)

Box Office

Arts Seniors


Zone A $32. Zone B $25

Presented by:

Surrey Civic Theatres

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann, aka the Bergmann Piano Duo, are famous for their razzle-dazzle playing and eclectic music choices. Extraordinary performers and entertaining storytellers, they bring their magical touch to the intimate and casual Classical Coffee Concert Series. The concerts in the intimate Studio Theatre follow a social hour with coffee, tea, and delicious goodies.

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For the final concert of the 2017/18 season, the Bergmanns are joined by singer and actor, Onalea Gilbertson. They’ll perform some of the music—including from the Threepenny Opera (known for the ballad "Mack the Knife")—that emerged from the collaborations between the daring revolutionary German playwright and poet, Bertolt Brecht and composers Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Paul Dessau in the 1920s and early 30s. The originality of their musical and theatrical ideas has had a lasting and widespread influence. In fact, Brecht/Weill established a new form of musical theatre by integrating elements from opera and operetta as well as jazz and other forms of popular music. Rarely has the goal to entertain and educate at the same time been achieved with so much artistic skill and integrity.

Due to their Jewish heritage, all three composers left Germany for America before World War 2. Dessau and Eisler settled in Hollywood for approximately a decade before returning to Germany, and Weill was based in New York, where he remained until his death. While in America, Dessau and Eisler composed chamber music, and Eisler also composed “The Hollywood Songbook”—selections from these will be performed. Brecht lived in California between 1941 and 1947—he had hoped to write for Hollywood, but he drew the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee and returned to Europe after appearing before the Committee. Marcel Bergmann has created a short soundscape that includes Brecht being interviewed by the Committee.

Seating will be cabaret-style to set the mood, and the pre-concert refreshments can be enjoyed at the tables. The performers will be available for a chat after the performance.

Running time (concert): approximately 75 minutes, no intermission