Music of Remembrance’s new commission stars soprano Caitlin Lynch in role of Polish resistance fighter & poet Krystyna Zywulska
SEATTLE, WA—February 10, 2012 —In commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Seattle-based chamber music group Music of Remembrance (MOR) will present the world premiere of Another Sunrise at 6:30 p.m. on May 14, 2012, at the Ilsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, preceded by a Meet the Composer & Librettist talk at 6:00 p.m. The concert will be followed by MOR’s Spring Gala in the Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel.
This is MOR’s second commission from the creative team of internationally acclaimed opera composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, after their 2007 For A Look or a Touch. Heggie and Scheer’s 2010 opera Moby-Dick has been hailed as a triumph and instant classic.
Another Sunrise is based on the true day-to-day fight for survival of the spirited, quick-witted Krystyna Zywulska during the Nazi occupation of Poland. With her mother, Zywulska walked out of the Warsaw ghetto in broad daylight in 1942, and joined the Polish resistance. Captured by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, she wrote satiric poems that became camp anthems of resistance. This was a dangerous notoriety, because she was still trying to hide her Jewish roots from camp informers. (She publicly revealed herself as a Jew only in later life).
Soprano Caitlin Lynch—who recently appeared with Seattle Opera as Micaëla in Carmen, and previously won first place in the 2008 Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers—will create the role of Zywulska, who after the Holocaust went on to author I Survived Auschwitz in 1946, I Came Back in 1951, and 1971’s Empty Water.
Composer Heggie explained: “I’m particularly inspired by stories of social justice and the inequities of life, and how we are all connected as human beings despite those inequities. The full breadth of Krystyna Zywulska’s work as a memoirist, poet and satirist is still being revealed and given new appreciation. Her story cries out to be told through theater and poetry.” For more information about this commission, see Another Sunrise in the New Works section of MOR’s website: www.musicofremembrance.org.
The audience will also hear works by Pavel Haas and Szymon Laks, eloquent celebrations of national identities under assault by the Nazis. In his Suite for Oboe and Piano, composed just after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Haas expressed an intense love of country by incorporating the melody of the St. Wenceslas chorale—the emblematic Czech musical symbol. Laks’ third string quartet, his first composition after liberation from Auschwitz, revives folk and dance elements from regions of his native Poland.
The celebrated Northwest Boychoir returns to MOR to sing hauntingly beautiful Yiddish and Hebrew folk songs in arrangements created by Viktor Ullmann in the Terezín concentration camp.
About the Spring Concert
Spring Concert: Another Sunrise
A concert to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, Seattle
6:30 p.m., Monday, May 14, 2012
Tickets: $36 at musicofremembrance.org, by calling (206) 365-7770, or at the door
6:00 p.m. Meet the Composer & Librettist: A conversation with Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer
8:30 p.m. Spring Gala: A dinner to celebrate’s MOR’s 14th Season, Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel
Tickets: $250 at musicofremembrance.org or by calling (206) 365-7770
String Quartet No. 3 (1945)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Leonid Keylin, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Mara Finkelstein, cello
Suite for Oboe and Piano, Op. 17 (1939)
Benjamin Hausmann, oboe; Mina Miller, piano
Choral Arrangements of Yiddish and Hebrew Songs (Terezín,1942)
The Northwest Boychoir, Joseph Crnko, conductor
WORLD PREMIERE: Another Sunrise (2012)
Libretto by Gene Scheer
A musical drama commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Caitlin Lynch, soprano
Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Craig Sheppard, piano
About Music of Remembrance
Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique spiritual and cultural role in Seattle and throughout the United States by remembering Holocaust musicians and their art through musical performances, educational programs, musical recordings and commissions of new works. Since its 1998-99 inaugural year, MOR has presented two major concerts annually at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) each fall and Holocaust Remembrance Day each spring. Since 2005-06, MOR’s Sparks of Glory outreach series has combined free public concerts with commentary by Artistic Director Mina Miller, reaching beyond the concert hall through performance residencies around Seattle. MOR has also produced six CDs—five on the world’s leading classical music label—and two documentaries, both by award-winning filmmaker John Sharify. More information available at www.musicofremembrance.org.