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.