Afternoon at the Opera

The Passenger

Stage scene from an opera with military and prisoner characters.

Scene from The Passenger. Lyric Opera of Chicago website

From the Lyric Opera's website:

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.

The Passenger is a co-production of Bregenzer Festspiele, Austria, Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa Warszawa, English National Opera ENO, London and Teatro Real, Madrid.

Memory and Reckoning 

In conjunction with Lyric Opera's performances of Mieczysław Weinberg's The Passenger, Lyric Unlimited is collaborating with a variety of cultural institutions to present Memory and Reckoning. A wide-ranging series of events exploring and amplifying the themes and messages of Weinberg's important work, Memory and Reckoning includes discussions, musical performances, a film screening, and the world premiere of a newly commissioned klezmer opera. Click here to learn more.