Jimmy Gallagher, also known in different versions of the opera as Jim Mahoney or Paul Ackermann, a lumberjack from Alaska. He is a hedonist who entangles himself in the nets of Mahagonny, a city in which one can buy all pleasures. During the approach of a hurricane that threatens to destroy Mahagonny, Jimmy proclaims his new principle, that henceforth everything is permitted. After the city has been saved miraculously, and as the people of Mahagonny continue to indulge in excessive eating, lovemaking, fighting, and drinking, to the point at which some people begin to die, Jimmy is arrested and tried in an ad hoc court. Although he is acquitted of most of the charges, he is sentenced to death for what is considered the capital offense of Mahagonny: to be without money.
Ladybird Begpick, known in different versions as Leocadia Begbick or Leokadia Begpick, a fugitive from justice who becomes the cofounder of Mahagonny in a desolate place on the road to Alaska. Like her namesake in another of Bertolt Brecht’s plays (Man Equals Man, 1926), Begpick uses men for her profit by catering to their pleasures. In Mahagonny, she runs the As-You-Like-It Tavern (Hotel Rich Man in the more literal translation from German) and also performs the function of judge in the trial scene.
Jenny, known in different versions as Jenny Jones or Jenny Smith, a...
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