“Opera is essentially about connections. It’s about community. You can’t have an opera unless you have several singers and instrumentalists to tell a story and an audience to tell a story to … bringing people together whether they have similar belief systems or not. It unifies us in a remarkable way.” – Jake Heggie
Out of Darkness is MOR’s 2016 commission from the internationally acclaimed team of composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. The two-act opera is a powerful portrait of survival that conveys the vastness of the scope of the Holocaust through emotionally rich depictions of those caught in its grasp. The first act, titled “Krystyna,” tells the true story of Krystyna Zywulska, whose daring poems became anthems of defiance among her fellow prisoners in Auschwitz. Act Two, “Gad,” explores the fate of homosexuals during the Holocaust through the experience of Gad Beck and Manfred Lewin, two idealistic young lovers in 1930s Berlin whose lives and love were torn apart under Nazi rule.
Heggie and Scheer tell these stories with uncompromising emotional honesty, and with deep compassion that never descends to pathos or sentimentality. Their richly textured music conveys an understanding of those touched by the Holocaust, in all their complicated humanity.
"Mr. Heggie may well be the richest, most accessible, most captivating opera composer since Benjamin Britten...He reduces major universal issues to credible personal stories, to which a listener can connect."
- The Wall Street Journal (2015)
Out of Darkness
Libretto by Gene Scheer
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Caitlin Lynch, soprano, Ava Pine, soprano; Catherine Cook, mezzo soprano; Michael Mayes, baritone; Robert Orth, baritone
Zart Dombourian-Eby, flute; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Jessica Choe, piano