Concert: For a Look or a Touch

Venue

 

This June, Music of Remembrance (MOR) will stream a special all-new production of two works by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer: For a Look or a Touch and Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope. The concert was originally scheduled for live performances at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre. Because of continuing pandemic restrictions, MOR will instead create a compelling video production and make it available around the world on its streaming platform. Details on the exact streaming date will be announced soon, along with ticketing information.

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.

Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope was inspired by the same Holocaust instruments Music of Remembrance brought to Seattle in March 2020, just before the pandemic shut performance venues. They are part of a private collection of string instruments that belonged to Jews who played them before and during the Holocaust. Lovingly restored over the past two decades by Israeli violin makers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, these precious instruments can sing again even though their owners were silenced. Heggie and Scheer’s Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope was premiered in 2020 by Music at Kohl Mansion. Its six haunting songs share the stories of those instruments and imagine how their owners would tell their own stories. Music of Remembrance’s ensemble, featuring violinist Mikhail Shmidt as soloist, will be joined by Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano Laura Krumm.

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; Walter Gray, cello; Jessica Choe, piano
 Erich Parce, director

Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope (2019)
Music by Jake Heggie                      Libretto by Gene Scheer

Northwest Premiere

Laura Krumm, mezzo soprano
Mikhail Shmidt, violin solo
Artur Girsky, violin; Natasha Bazhanov, violin;
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello
 

Nazi concentration camp badges
Nazi concentration camp badges
Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Sheer
Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Sheer
MOR debut performances by Jarrett Ott, Curt Branom, and Laura Krumm
MOR debut performances by Jarrett Ott, Curt Branom, and Laura Krumm