Thursday, April 5, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Sunday, April 15, 2018
The Balzer Theater at Herren's
Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer's moving two-act opera centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past. In Act I, Krystyna shares her gripping story of survival with a journalist, and is helped by the ghosts of Auschwitz who were inspired by her written lyrics. In Act II, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who perished in Auschwitz. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the painful truth of their stories and fates emerges. Based in part on the true stories of two Holocaust survivors: the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and the gay German Jew, Gad Beck (1923-2012).
General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun
will direct. Presented in collaboration with Theatrical Outfit
Originally commissioned by Music of Remembrance. Thank you JakeHeggie.com. Source material for the libretto includes documents and journals in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Zywulska’s I Survived Auschwitz
(1946), as well as various interviews, including several from the documentary film Paragraph 175
(directed by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman).
Cast information to be announced later this year.
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Sung in English with English supertitles
ACT ONE: “KRYSTYNA”
Her Jewish identity hidden, Krystyna Zywulska was a political prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In secret, she composed lyrics to inspire fellow prisoners, even as she carried out her harrowing job in the Effektenkammer: cataloguing the personal effects of thousands of women and children before they were murdered in the gas chambers next door. Many years after the war, she is asked by a journalist to share her stories and record them on a tape player. Haunted and helped by the ghosts of her past – Zosha, Manfred, and her younger self, Krysia – she struggles to find the words.
ACT TWO: “GAD”
Gad Beck’s first true love was the poet Manfred Lewin, who was 19 when he and his entire family were murdered in Auschwitz. In the many years since the war, Gad has tried his best to forget what happened, but he keeps the book of Manfred’s original poems close by. As an old man, he is visited by Manfred’s ghost one night. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the painful truth of their stories and fates emerges. It is estimated that more than 100,000 men and women were imprisoned for homosexuality during the Holocaust; it is not known how many thousands were murdered. Even after the war was over, Paragraph 175, the German law prohibiting homosexuality, remained in effect until 1969.
Courtesy of Bill Holab Music