Der Jasager

Der Jasager

Der Jasager (literally The Yes Sayer also translated as The Affirmer or He Said Yes) is an opera (specifically a Schuloper or 'school-opera') by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht (after Elisabeth Hauptmann's translation from Arthur Waley's English version of the Japanese drama Taniko).

Its companion piece is Der Neinsager (He Said No) although Brecht's other text was never set by Weill.

Weill also identifies the piece, following Brecht's development of the experimental form, as a Lehrstück, or 'teaching-piece'.[1]


Performance history

It was first performed in Berlin by students of the Akademie für Kirchen und Schulmusik at the Zentralinstitut für Erziehung und Unterricht on 23 June 1930 and broadcast simultaneously on the radio. It was successful and there were over 300 performances during the following three years.

Brecht subsequently revised the text twice, the final version, including Der Neinsager, being without music.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast,
23 June 1930
(Conductor: Kurt Drabeck)
The boy treble
The mother mezzo-soprano
The teacher baritone Otto Hopf
First student treble or tenor
Second student treble or tenor
Third student treble or baritone



  1. ^ Weill says: "In Lindbergh's Flight Bert Brecht and I had the schools in mind for the first time. I am hoping to develop this direction further in my latest play, the 'Lehrstück' He Said Yes. [...] I no longer want to offer 'songs' so much as self-contained musical forms. In the process I want to take over whatever I hitherto found right, like what I once termed the gestic approach to music. The melody must give clear expression to the gest. It is clarity, not lack of clarity that has to prevail in all that the composer wishes to express. And [...] this 'Lehrstück' has to be a fully authentic work of art, not a secondary piece." (Weill 1930, 334).

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