An Opera in Two Acts
Music by Jake Heggie
Libretto by Gene Scheer

Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s latest collaboration is based on the separate journals of two Holocaust survivors: Krystyna Zywulska and Gad Beck.

Her Jewish identity hidden, Krystyna was a political prisoner held at Auschwitz. In secret, she composed lyrics to inspire fellow prisoners to survive, even as she carried out her harrowing job in the Effektenkammer: cataloging the personal effects of thousands of women and children before they’re murdered in gas chambers. Many years after the war, a journalist asks Krystyna to record her stories.  In doing so, Krystyna is helped by the ghosts of her past: Zosia, Edka, Mariola, and her younger self, Krysia.

Gad Beck’s first true love was the poet Manfred Lewin, who was 19 when he and his family were murdered in Auschwitz. In the years since the war, Gad has tried his best to forget what happened, but has kept a book of Manfred’s poems. As an old man, he is visited by Manfred’s ghost. When Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the painful conclusion of their stories and fates emerges.

Performances will be held at
The Edge Theater 
5451 N Broadway, Chicago

Chicago Fringe Opera is dedicated to the safety of its artists and patrons. All patrons are required to provide proof of vaccination for performances. In addition, masks are required at all times. All artists are required to be vaccinated and are routinely tested before rehearsals and performances.



Zosia / Edka
Mariola / Krysia
Gad Beck

Artistic Team

Co-Stage Director
Co-Stage Director
Music Director
Production Designer
Lighting Designer
Production Manager
Technical Director
Stage Manager
Shelby Krarup
Stage Manager Intern
Virginia Smith
Supertitles Coordinator


Heggie’s song-studded score (with whiffs of Weill and klezmer) was deftly handled by a six-piece chamber ensemble conducted by Fringe music director Catherine O’Shaughnessy.

Chicago Reader

“Two Remain” was uniformly excellent, well sung, well directed and well played by the orchestra. It was a complete surprise to me that it was so uplifting. Bravo to all.

Audience Review

It is impossible to select a favorite part of the show. The entire show from the first moment to the last, was completely enthralling and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Audience Review

Terrific production of an important contemporary work.

Audience Review

It was a story beautifully written and performed. I would gladly return for another Chicago Fringe production.

Audience Review


Photography by Vin Reed
Supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, & the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Chicago Fringe Opera is an Opera America Partner.