National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grant to Seattle's Music of Remembrance

Media Contact:
Mina Miller, Artistic Director
Ph: (206) 365-7770

$22,000 grant will help support the development and premiere of a new opera, "Out of Darkness" by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer.

SEATTLE, WA—December 8, 2015—In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $22,000 to Music of Remembrance to produce a new opera, "Out of Darkness" by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer.
The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from Music of Remembrance offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
Project Description: To support the development and premiere of "Out of Darkness" by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. This new fully-staged two-act opera interweaves the stories of two Holocaust survivors haunted by the ghosts of memory. Act One, titled “Krystyna,” expands Heggie and Scheer’s earlier "Another Sunrise" (2012) and "Farewell, Auschwitz" (2013) to tell the true story of a Polish Holocaust survivor who wrote poems in Auschwitz that circulated secretly among her fellow prisoners and became anthems of defiance. Act Two, titled “Gad,” draws on Heggie and Scheer’s "For a Look or a Touch" (2007) to relate the true story of two idealistic young gay Berliners whose lives and love were torn apart under Nazi rule. The artistic team for this powerful musical drama of memory, justice and redemption includes stage director Erich Parce, baritone Michael Mayes, sopranos Caitlin Lynch and Ava Pine, mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook, and baritone Robert Orth. The first performance will take place at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on May 22, 2016 followed by two performances at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on May 25 and 26, 2016.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

About Music of Remembrance
Founded in 1998 by pianist Mina Miller, Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique role throughout the world by remembering the Holocaust through music with concert performances, educational programs, recordings and commissions of new works. Along with its large and varied repertoire of Holocaust-era music, MOR commissions and premieres new Holocaust-inspired works by some of today’s leading composers, building bridges across generations and sharing stories that underline the Holocaust’s urgent moral relevance for us now. 

The Music of Remembrance mission is not religious nor is its scope limited to Jewish music or experience. Our programs have also focused on the Holocaust’s impact on homosexuals, women, children, Roma, political prisoners and courageous free-thinkers.

MOR reaches across the community. In addition to ticketed concerts, we offer free community outreach events. We also bring educational programs to schools and colleges where we work closely with faculty members. MOR has reached audiences around the world through its seven CDs on Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label, and its two documentary films produced by award-winning filmmaker John Sharify. More information is available at

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