2004 | A One-Act Chamber Opera

50 minute opera created from my songs by Cleveland Opera’s David Bamberger. Premiered at The Ohio Theatre June 9-12. 2004, Cleveland, Ohio. Cast: Sanford Sylvan, Fenlon Lamb, Megan Tillmann and Sara Renea Rucker; instrumentalists Judith Ryder, Maximilian Dimoff and Paul Cohen.

I Did Not Manage to Save; Faults; Yes, That’s the Way Things Are; To-Night; Birdsong; Massacre of the Boys; Wild Nights; The Butterfly; The Years; Holocaust, 1944; Man Proposes, God Disposes; Jewels; The Garden; Both Your Mothers; Echo


The action takes place largely in the imagination of The Survivor, although for him it is the early 1950s. He survived the Holocaust and escaped from Europe. Lost to him were his older Child, a daughter, who was murdered by the Nazis in Terezin, and His Wife, who died in a different camp. Her death came after giving birth to their second daughter, who was eventually reunited with her father. The Survivor has never discussed the events of the Holocaust with her, but does so at the climax of the opera with the touching “Both Your Mothers.” [This poem, by Ficowski, is based on the true story of his wife’s rescue from the Warsaw Ghetto by Holocaust hero Irina Sendler.]

Although the plot deals specifically with the Holocaust, it is really an opera about accepting loss and moving forward, and therefore can be performed in varied forms of programming.