The Atlanta Opera To World Premiere Jake Heggie Opera That Focuses on Holocaust Survivors

By David Salazar

Jake Heggie is one of the prominent opera composers of the modern era and any new work of his is of most utmost importance to the opera world. And in just a month or so, his latest creation, “Out of Darkness: Two Remain” will make its world premiere as part of The Atlanta Opera’s Discovery series.

The opera, which is written by Gene Scheer, is in two acts and stars Tom Key as Gad Beck and soprano Maria Kanyova as Krystyna.

Performances are set for April 5-15 with The Atlanta Opera’s General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun directing.

The works centers on Holocaust survivors who must confront the ghosts of their pasts. The first half features Krystyna relating her story of survival at Auschwitz. In the second half, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin who died at Auschwitz. Per a press release, “the opera is based in part on the true stories of two Holocaust survivors: the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and the gay German Jew, Gad Beck (1923-2012).”

The performance will also feature Elise Quagliata and baritone Ben Edquist. The performances will be conducted by Joseph Mechavich.