Concert - For a Look or a Touch



Starting Saturday, June 26, Music of Remembrance will stream a special all-new production of For a Look or a Touch by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. The performance was originally scheduled as part of live concerts at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre. Because of continuing pandemic restrictions, we have instead created a compelling video production for viewing by people around the world on our streaming platform.

For a Look or a Touch was the first and remains the only major musical work to address the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. It tells the story of two idealistic young men whose lives and love were torn apart during the Third Reich. This new production, directed by Erich Parce, features rising star baritone Jarrett Ott as Manfred Lewin and the amazing musical actor Curt Branom as Gad Beck. The work takes its title from a provision in the German penal code that made even an affectionate glance or caress a reason for suspicion and arrest. MOR commissioned and premiered For a Look or a Touch in 2007, and since then the work has traveled the world. This production, especially resonant in June during Pride Month, brings it back in an expanded version.

For a Look or a Touch (2007)
Music by Jake Heggie                      Libretto by Gene Scheer
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

Manfred Lewin            Jarrett Ott, baritone
Gad Beck                    Curt Branom, actor

Zart Dombourian-Eby, flute; Laura DeLuca, clarinet;
Mikhail Shmidt, violin (James & Sherry Raisbeck Artist Chair); Walter Gray, cello; Jessica Choe, piano
Erich Parce, director
Joseph Mechavich, conductor

Nazi concentration camp badges
Chart of colored prisoner markings used in German concentration camps (1938-1942). Section 175 prisoners were assigned pink markings.
Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Sheer
Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Sheer