University Opera Presents: Two Remain (Out of Darkness)

202121nov2:00 pmUniversity Opera Presents: Two Remain (Out of Darkness)


(Sunday) 2:00 pm CST


Music Hall

925 Bascom Mall

Event Details

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Music by Jake Heggie
Libretto by Gene Scheer

David Ronis, director
Oriol Sans, conductor


University Opera presents the Wisconsin premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Two Remain (Out of Darkness). This moving piece tells the stories of Krystyna Zywulska and Gad Beck, both survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. The work is based on Zywulska’s and Beck’s memoirs as well as material from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the documentary film Paragraph 175.

Krystyna Zywulska, born Sonia Landau, a Jew, escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto, took on a Christian identity and started working with the Polish Resistance. She was later arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz as a political prisoner. Secretly composing lyrics to inspire her fellow prisoners, she was charged with cataloguing the personal effects of thousands of women and children before they were murdered in the gas chambers. Many years after the war, she is asked by a journalist to record her memories. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, she struggles to find the words.

Gad Beck’s first true love, Manfred Lewin, was sent to Auschwitz and murdered when he was 19. Now an old man, Beck, who survived the war in Berlin, is visited by Manfred’s ghost and the painful truth of their story emerges. It is estimated that over 100,000 men and women were imprisoned by the Nazis for homosexuality during World War II and many of them were murdered. Even after the war was over, Paragraph 175, the German law prohibiting homosexuality, remained in effect until 1969.