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Fenigstein, Victor

Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe (1982–1984,rev.1998-2003)

(Saint Joan of the Stockyards)
Duration: 180 minutes
A Songplay in 5 acts for the operatic stage

Bertolt Brecht; English version by Frank Jones (G,E)

Major roles: A,T,Bar,B; other roles: S,6T,2B; mixed chorus; 1.1.1.asax.1- synth)-vln.db (gtr and strings also amplified)
Abbreviations (PDF)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Wolf Sesemann, director
Conductor: Hans Norbert Bihlmaier
Company: Städtische Bühnen Augsburg


JOAN DARK, Lieutenant of the Black Straw HatsAlto
PIERPONT MAULER, the Meat KingTenor-Baritone
LENNOX andBaritone
MEYERS, meat packersTenor
SLIFT, a brokerBass-Baritone
Mrs. LUCKERNIDDLEMezzo-Soprano
GLOOMB, a workerTenor
PAULUS SNYDER, a major in the Black Straw HatsTenor-Baritone
MARTHA, a soldier in the Black Straw HatsSoprano
Jackson, a lieutenant in the Black Straw HatsTenor
MULBERRY, a landlordBass
A ForemanTenor
Chap / Young workerTenor-Baritone
1st Labour leaderBass
2nd Labour leaderTenor
1st DetectiveTenor
2nd Detective
A Waiter
Mrs. SWINGURN, a worker's wife
Meat packers, Wholesalers, Stockbreeders, Brokers, Venturers, Black Straw Hats,
Workers, the Poor, Detectives, Journalistst, Newsboys, Soldiers, Passers-by.

Time and Place
Chicago in the 1920s

Through shrewd and ruthless dealings and a secret agreement with his friends from the New York stock market, Pierpont Mauler has gained control over Chicago’s meat market and drives his competitors to ruin. Sometimes there is too much meat, sometimes too little. The ones who suffer are the unemployed. When even the ‘Black Straw Hats’ can no longer alleviate the misery, Joan Dark, a ‘lieutenant’ in this sort of Salvation Army, visits Mauler in his slaughterhouse to ask him for help. Mauler graphically demonstrates the wickedness of the poor to her, explaining that they themselves are to blame for their poverty. Joan, recognising wickedness to be a result of poverty, sets out to campaign against the meat producers. At the cattle market, she seems to win a triumph, not realising that it was orchestrated behind the scenes by Mauler himself. Inspired by idealism, she falls out with the Black Straw Hats and unintentionally betrays her own allies. Taken in by deceptive news reports, she fails to pass on a call for a general strike because she has qualms about using violence. The crushing of the boycott serves to consolidate Mauler’s system of governance, bolstering the alliance of banks and the state even more. Exhausted, Joan collapses; in order to cover up her real cause, the meat barons canonise her as a martyr of charity.



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