July 9, 2013
Luxbooks, Weisbaden, Germany has released Anna Rabinowitz’s Darkling: A Poem in a German language edition that includes a CD of the AOP opera based on the work.
From a book-length poem to a multi-media experimental opera to a CD released by Albany Records, Darkling gives a haunting portrayal of the emotions, terrors, and incalculable losses incurred during the period between the two World Wars and the Holocaust.
Commissioned by American Opera Projects, the stage adaptation of Darkling was set to original music by post-classical composer Stefan Weisman and told through a fusion of avant-garde theater, opera, cutting-edge technology and poignant language. In 2006, American Opera Projects presented the world premiere of Darkling, directed by Michael Comlish, which ran Off-Broadway for three weeks to wide critical acclaim.
Subsequently, Darkling toured in a concert version to Berlin and Poland and to the Center City Opera Theatre as part of the Philly Fringe Festival in 2008. Excerpts have been performed in many venues, including New York City Opera’s VOXseries at NYU’s Skirball Center and the Works and Process Series at the Guggenheim Museum. In 2011, Albany Records released a 2-CD studio recording of the opera.
Anna Rabinowitz’s Darkling: A Poem was first published in English by Tupelo Press in 2001.
For more information about Darkling, visit the opera’s website.
May 6, 2010
Yehuda Nir as a boy on the cover of his memoir "The Lost Childhood"
Dr. Yehuda Nir, Holocaust survivor and author of the memoir “The Lost Childhood”, celebrated his 80th birthday last week amongst a crowd of friends and family. Nir’s tragic childhood remembrance inspired librettist Mary Azrael and composer Janice Hamer to create the operatic version of “Lost Childhood”– a riveting full-length performance based on Yehuda Nir’s plight, and conversations with Gottfried Wagner (great-grandson of Richard Wagner). American Opera Projects commissioned the opera in 2001, and has nurtured its development throughout the following years. AOP presented a staged workshop of the opera for the first time on July 29,2007, to rave reviews.
Selections of “The Lost Childhood” were performed in honor of Yehuda’s 80th birthday at The Box on Chrystie Street. Nearly one hundred of Yehuda Nir’s admirers and close friends were said to be in attendance. AOP for its own part, delighted at participating in the celebrations and sharing of a great operatic work.
Read the full Huffington Post article here.
October 2, 2009
Philadelphia audiences finally got to experience the multimedia opera-theatre work Darkling when it premiered in a new, semi-staged version for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival presented by Center City Opera Theater on Sep 8, 10, and 12, 2009. Conductor and CCOT Artistic Director Andrew Kurtz brought composer Stefan Weisman and librettist Anna Rabinowitz‘s haunting experimental work to life as part of ConNEXTions 2009: The Next Generation of Opera. Spanning the decades from the 1930’s to the post-World War period, Darkling is a remarkable story of a poet who struggles to identify and interpret the stories of various Polish-Jewish family affected by the extraordinary events of the Holocaust based only on the few letters and photographs they left behind.
Maeve Hoglund as the bride fleeing to America in the Sep 2009 performance of Darkling in Philadelphia.
Returning singers Hai-Ting Chinn and Jon Garrison joined with Maeve Hoglund, Martin Hargrove and Jason Switzer, narrator Sharon Sigal, and a string quartet under the stage direction of Matt Gray. AOP premiered Darkling in 2006 at the East 13th Street Theater in a fully staged version conceived and directed by Michael Comlish. A concert version also developed by Mr. Comlish toured through Europe in 2007.
October 9, 2007
“[Lost Childhood is] a powerful work which deserves to be presented many more times in Israel and the world over.” – Ora Binur, Maariv.
On July 29, the Janice Levin Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Israel was filled over capacity as audiences packed in for a chance to hear the first fully-staged workshop of Lost Childhood by Janice Hamer and Mary Azrael. The opera commissioned by AOP received huge ovations from a tearful crowd and raves from the press which can be downloaded here and here.