• A Play's Passage to New York

    2013-11-25

    The Passenger, a rarely performed, once-banned opera about the Holocaust will be shown this summer at the Park Avenue Armory, organizers announced Monday.

    The late Mieczysław Weinberg, a devotee of Dmitri Shostakovich who fled Poland in 1939 for the Soviet Union, composed The Passenger in 1968. The opera and some of Weinberg's other works were banned there, and he didn't see The Passenger produced during his lifetime.

    Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival, which is co-presenting The Passenger with the Park Avenue Armory, called Weinberg "a significant composer whose work has been neglected."

    Based on a 1959 radio play by an Auschwitz survivor, The Passenger is set in the 1950s and concerns a German woman suddenly dealing with her past as an SS officer. Aboard a luxury ocean liner, she thinks she sees a former prisoner, and a series of flashbacks to the concentration camp follow.

    The opera will have its U.S. premiere in January at the Houston Grand Opera, under the direction of British theater and opera director David Pountney, who for more than a decade headed productions at the English National Opera and directed Bernd Zimmermann's opera Die Soldaten at the Park Avenue Armory in 2008.

    The Houston company will perform The Passenger at the Park Avenue Armory on July 10, 12 and 13 as part of the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival. The production will take advantage of the Hall's 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

    CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WEBSITE

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