Pedro Halffter’s ‘Klara’ Set for American Premiere

By Afton Wooten

Pedro Halffter’s new opera “Klara” will make its American premiere on October 12, 2022 in Paine Hall at Harvard University.

The opera’s original version, which premiered this August in Villafranca del Bierzo, Spain, featured the protagonist as an AI robot able to learn about and examine the world around her. Through the chaos of war, Klara arrives at the question “What is a human being?”

This version of the opera follows the title character Klara, a young woman living peacefully until she is affected mentally by war. Klara struggles with the decision to go into the unknown future as a refugee.

Halffter’s original score pulls from refugee stories throughout history. Ashley Galvani Bell reprises her role as Klara, along with mezzo soloist Anna Tonna, pianists Pedro Halffter and Sergio Martínez Zangróniz, with stage director Antón Armendariz Diaz.

Divaria Productions partners with The Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT), and the Chester M. Pierce, MD, Division of Global Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School to present this new opera. All proceeds will support HPRT’s work with Ukrainian refugee women and children.