Lyric Unlimited will soon present the world premiere of a true rarity – a klezmer opera based on a graphic novel. The Property, by composer Wlad Marhulets and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, is drawn from a graphic novel of the same name by acclaimed Israeli author Rutu Modan. Performances will take place in partnership with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in Hyde Park from February 25-27, with additional performances at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie from March 4-5.
The Property follows the journey of Regina Segal and her granddaughter Mica , who travel to modern Warsaw in an attempt to recover family property lost during World War II. Regina faces the difficult truth about her past, while Micah enters into a relationship with their Polish tour guide and realizes their reasons for coming might not be all that they had appeared.
The opera integrates Eastern European and Jewish references from Modan’s novel. The cast includes six singers, including mezzo-soprano Jill Grove as Regina and Anne Slovin as Mica. An ensemble of six instrumentalists will include musicians from Chicago’s renowned Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. The music melds styles ranging from klezmer to funk to represent how the story exists on the planes of both memory and modern day.
The world premiere of The Property is at the heart of Lyric Unlimited’s Memory and Reckoning events, which accompany Lyric’s premiere of The Passenger by Miecyslaw Weinberg, February 24-March 15. Lyric Unlimited commissioned The Property and decided to present it as a companion to The Passenger because of Weinberg’s life and background. A Polish Jew and the son of a Yiddish theater conductor, Weinberg was influenced by klezmer and Jewish liturgical music. Like The Property‘s main character Regina Segal, he fled his native country to escape the Nazis.
The world premiere performances will take place at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 E 60th Street, Chicago) on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:30pm; Thursday, February 26 at 7:30pm; and Friday, February 27, 1pm. Tickets start at $20, on sale now at lyricopera.org/property or 312-827-5600. The February 25 and 26 performances will be followed by talkbacks featuring artists and University of Chicago faculty.
Performances will also take place at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts (9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie) on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30pm and Thursday, March 5 at 7:30pm
Tickets start at $20, on sale now at NorthShoreCenter.org or 847-673-6300.