The Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble (MORE Opera) will present the Manhattan debut of Holocaust survivor Harry Bialor’s Masada, an opera/oratorio sung in English based on the last stand of Jewish resistance to the Roman occupation of Judea on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 3:00 PM at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, 120 West 69th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue. The semi-staged performance features soloists Reuven Aristigueta, Cheryl Warfield, Byron Singleton, David Asch, David O. White, music director Maxine Feldman, pianist James Besser and the MORE Opera Chorus.
Composer/lyricist Harry Bialor’s Masada is a fictionalized account of the historic Jewish rebellion against Roman occupation at the mesa known as Masada intertwined with love stories of two couples and the anguished choice of historical leader Elazar ben Yair. It serves as a powerful metaphor for standing up for freedom and principle in the face of ultimate sacrifice. The work celebrates the dignity and resilience of people who were victims of oppression but look forward to a bright future.
Bialor, a Brooklyn resident who survived the Holocaust, evaded a Nazi round-up of Jews in his hometown of Rutki, Poland and survived by hiding in forests and on a Polish farm with his sister. After liberation by the Soviets, he spent five years in a displaced persons camp in Germany before emigrating to the United States in 1951.
The Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble (MORE Opera) was founded in 2000 by soprano Cheryl Warfield, who has performed over 15 lead roles in the standard operatic repertoire. MORE Opera is a part of ADVANCE, a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit vocal arts organization that produces concerts of classical music, trains singers of all ages and presents music education programs for students from grades K-12 throughout the five boroughs.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased in advance at www.ticketriver.com/event/16022 or at the door. Additional information may be found at www.masadanyc.weebly.com, by contacting the ADVANCE/MORE Opera box office at 212-252-2512 (voice mail) or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Cheryl Warfield is the founder of MORE Opera.