Jacaranda to Present Concert Premiere of Cuban Missile Crisis Opera ‘Arkhipov’

By Logan Martell

On October 21, 2022, Jacaranda will present the concert premiere of “Arkhipov,” a new opera by Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann, the winner of Opera America’s 2022 Campbell Librettist Prize,

This new work is based on the story of Soviet Naval Officer Vasili Arkhipov, who played a key role in diffusing nuclear war during a tipping point in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Presented in partnership with the Wende Museum of the Cold War, the work will features ten singers joined by the 18-member Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of Daniela Candillari making her debut with the concert series.

Edward Parks III, David Leigh, Katherine Goeldner, Daniel Moody, Joel Balzun, Domenic Delzompo, Michael Dunlap, Carlos Santelli, Todd Strange, and Max Zander headline the cast. Elkhanah Pulitzer directs while Daniela Candillari conducts.

“Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann have created a heart-stopping experience set in a submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962,” says Jacaranda Artistic and Executive Director Patrick Scott. “On October 27,, 2022, just days after our performance, it will be 60 years since nuclear Armageddon was barely averted through the moral conviction of one man, whose heroism was erased by the Soviet Union for four decades. Jacaranda has always been committed to presenting stories of deep historical importance that continue to be relevant today. Against the current backdrop of Ukrainian heroism and Russian aggression, Arkhipov’s story, only recently brought to light, is particularly compelling and profound.”

“Arkhipov” will be held at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, California, with a second performance on the following night.