"Farewell, Auschwitz" from "Out of Darkness" (2016)

Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

Jake Heggie, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist

Joseph Mechavich, conductor; Erich Parce, director

Catherine Cook, mezzo- soprano; Caitlin Lynch, soprano; Michael Mayes, baritone; Robert Orth, baritone; Ava Pine, soprano

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Robin Peery, flute; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Jessica Choe, piano.

"Out of Darkness" was commissioned by Music of Remembrance (MOR) in 2016 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.

“Farewell Auschwitz,” the finale from the world premiere performance of "Out of Darkness," took place on May 22, 2016 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and on May 25-26, 2016 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

"Out of Darkness" is MOR's fourth commission with composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer.