Marc Blitzstein virtually created opera in the American vernacular. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Curtis Institute, then went to Europe where he was the only American to study with both Nadia Boulanger and Arnold Schönberg. A respected colleague of Aaron Copland and mentor of Leonard Bernstein, he was most famous for his adaptation of the Brecht-Weill Threepenny Opera. His version of the Brecht-Dessau Mother Courage will receive its world premiere in 2005, starring Estelle Parsons.
But his own works have their ardent admirers, who will be celebrating the composer's centennial on March 2, 2005. His labor operas The Cradle Will Rock, I've Got the Tune, and No For an Answer; his satires Triple Sec, The Harpies, "Modest Maid" and "Zipperfly"; his opera Regina after Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, and musical Juno after Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock; and the unfinished works completed by Leonard Lehrman: Tales of Malamud ("Marc's best work," according to Ned Rorem) and his magnum opus, commissioned originally for the Met, Sacco and Vanzetti- all have received critical raves and award-winning productions. Go to the website listed on this page for a complete list of Blitzstein's works and an update on centennial celebrations.