Who wrote it?
Ben Moore is the composer of the opera and his music has been performed by many leading singers including soprano Deborah Voigt, mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham and Frederica von Stade, tenors Lawrence Brownlee and Robert White, baritone Nathan Gunn and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. His work has been called “brilliant” and “gorgeously lyrical” by the New York Times while Opera News has praised the “easy tunefulness” and “romantic sweep” of his songs. Besides art song and opera Moore’s works include musical theater, cabaret, chamber music, choral music and comedy material.
Born on January 2, 1960, in Syracuse, New York, Moore grew up in Clinton, New York and graduated from Hamilton College. With an MFA from The Parsons School of Design, Moore also pursues a career as a painter.
A little background
- The opera is based on the book Enemies, A Love Story by Isaac Beshevis Singer which Nahma Sandrow adapted into an opera libretto.
- Ben Moore has a ‘catalogue of tunes’ that he has written that exist unattached to a specific project; several of these beautifully crafted melodies were incorporated into the score for Enemies, A Love Story.
- The opera went through “workshop” in New York City – basically that means the key players got together to sing, discuss, analyze each character’s motivation, and make changes to music and words to develop the opera as you’ll see it on stage.
What happens in the opera?
- Herman Broder survives the holocaust but his wife Tamara is presumed dead.
- Herman moves to NYC and marries Yadwiga; he also takes a mistress named Masha.
- Tamara unexpectedly shows up in NYC…alive and very married to Herman.
- Herman juggles the three relationships but not without grave consequences.
Who is in the story?
Herman Broder, an indecisive man in love with three women
Yadwiga, a fresh-faced, Polish Christian girl living on Coney Island
Masha, tempestuous refugee living in the Bronx
Tamara, Herman’s dedicated first wife living on the lower Eastside of Manhattan
Shifrah Puah, Masha’s mother; Polish Jewish refugee
Tortshiner, Masha’s husband, a charlatan scientist, bursting with resentments
Rabbi Lampert, Well-meaning, American born religious authority
Nissen, Tamara’s pious uncle
Sheva Haddas, Nissen’s pious wife
Hannah, Yadwiga’s nosy neighbor
Leah, Yadwiga’s nosier neighbor
What should I be on the aural hunt for at the show?
Yadwiga’s aria in Act I, where her love and longing for Herman is fully exposed
Herman and Masha’s Act1 duet “My love” where they profess their love for one another
Tamara, Yadwiga, and Masha’s gut-wrenching trio at the open of Act II where they contemplate their futures (You’ll have to come to the show to hear this – and all the other – unforgettable tunes!)
What is is going to look like on stage?
These are models of the set pictures aren’t available just yet because the set is being built for this world premiere! You have to come to the theater to see how these models translate to the stage!
Why should I check out this opera?
- It’s an impactful story
- The story is relevant today: check out what composer Ben Moore has to say about why YOU should see this opera!
- The music is beautiful – we bet you will leave the theater humming at least one of the numbers
- It is a WORLD PREMIERE (which is a rarity)…so you will be among the FIRST to see a brand new work of art!
- This is the first WORLD PREMIERE for PALM BEACH OPERA and you have the chance to witness this monumental moment! Come be a part of history!