Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • The Passenger
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February 24-March 15, 2015
Lyric Opera Premiere

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  • by Mieczyslaw Weinberg
  • In Russian, German, Polish, French, Yiddish, Czech, and English with projected English texts
  • Approximate running time: 2hrs, 50 min

There’s no escaping your past.

Aboard an ocean liner in the early 1960s, a West German diplomat, Walter, and his wife Liese are bound for a new posting in Brazil. But unbeknownst to her husband, Liese served as an SS officer in Auschwitz. Haunted by her past, she is stunned when she thinks she recognizes a fellow passenger; is it really Marta, her former prisoner?

Suppressed for more than 40 years, Weinberg's gripping opera has emerged anew, electrifying audiences at Austria's Bregenz Festival and again in Warsaw and London. The action moves between two realms — from the pristine white deck of a luxury liner above to the dark horrors of the death camp below.

Guilt and denial, lies and truth, fear and courage, and love — it's all here in an artistic and emotional experience you'll never forget.

"Music of beauty and enormity…it is a perfect masterpiece…it is a hymn to humanity…to the international solidarity of those who, subjected to the most terrible evil, stood up against fascism." Dmitri Shostakovich

Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by Richard P. and Susan Kiphart, Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, Sidley Austin LLP, Manfred and Fern Steinfeld, and Helen and Sam Zell with additional support by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music program.

Production originated at Bregenzer Festspiele.

Starring

  • Amanda Majeski

    Marta

    Amanda Majeski

    "A brilliant actress with a rich resonant soprano" (Financial Times),
    Amanda Majeski is Marta.

  • Daveda Karanas

    Liese

    Daveda Karanas

    Daveda Karanas, with a voice of  "clear silver and dark smoke" (Chicago Sun-Times) is Liese.

  • Brandon Jovanovich

    Walter

    Brandon Jovanovich

    Brandon Jovanovich, "a world-class actor with a thrilling voice" (The Times, London), is Walter.

  • Judith Forst

    Bronka

    Judith Forst

  • Joshua Hopkins

    Tadeusz

    Joshua Hopkins

  • Kelly Kaduce

    Katya

    Kelly Kaduce

    The celebrated Lyric Opera Chorus has a major role in The Passenger, as do the remarkable singing actors (including Judith ForstJoshua Hopkins, and Kelly Kaduce) who portray the Polish, Russian, French, and Czech prisoners of various backgrounds.

The Passenger - Amanda Majeski 

Marta
Amanda Majeski† †

The Passenger - Daveda Karanas 

Liese
Daveda Karanas

The Passenger - Brandon Jovanovich 

Walter
Brandon Jovanovich

The Passenger - Joshua Hopkins 

Tadeusz
Joshua Hopkins

The Passenger - Kelly Kaduce 

Katya
Kelly Kaduce

The Passenger - Judith Forst 

Bronka
Judith Forst

Sir Andrew Davis 

Conductor
Sir Andrew Davis

David Pountney

Director
David Pountney

Johan Engels

Set Designer
Johan Engels

Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Costume Designer
Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Fabrice Kebour

Lighting Designer
Fabrice Kebour

Michael Black

Chorus Master
Michael Black

*Lyric debut
† † Alumna, Ryan Opera Center

The Passenger Audio Preview

Music director Sir Andrew Davis shares the synopsis and excerpts from Weinberg's The Passenger. Recordings used by permission of EMI Classics.

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