Finale: “Farewell, Auschwitz,” Out of Darkness (2016)

Finale: “Farewell, Auschwitz” from "Out of Darkness" (2016)
Jake Heggie, composer
Gene Scheer, librettist
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

"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. Learn more at www.musicofremembrance.org.

Performers in this video: Catherine Cook, mezzo- soprano; Caitlin Lynch, soprano; Michael Mayes, baritone; Robert Orth, baritone; Ava Pine, soprano

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

Conducted by Joseph Mechavich; Directed by Erich Parce

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 by some of today’s leading composers, MOR honors those of all backgrounds who found the strength to create even in the face of suffering, and those who had the courage to speak out against cruelty. We tell stories that communicate urgent lessons for today, and we look beyond the Holocaust itself to the experience of others who have been excluded or persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.