Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Tom Cipullo, composer; David Mason, librettist
Erich Parce, director; Alastair Willis, conductor
Michael Mayes, baritone; Catherine Cook, mezzo soprano; Laura Strickling, soprano
It’s May 19, 1944 – the final evening at home for the great Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti and his beautiful, devoted wife Fanni. Foreseeing his likely fate in a forced labor camp, Radnóti wonders as we often do why we are given life: “To learn what love is. To love. To make beautiful things. To die.” Facing these stark illuminations brings a bright awareness of being. The Parting is a profound and musically rich meditation on what it means to be an artist but also desire ordinary happiness. It comes from the same brilliant creative team that brought us the award-winning After Life, with its dramatic confrontation between the ghosts of Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso.