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  The Passenger at Lyric Opera

The Passenger

Lyric Opera
20 N. Wacker Drive Chicago

Suppressed for more than 40 years, this gripping opera from Mieczyslaw Weinberg has emerged once again -- and has already electrified audiences in Austria, Warsaw and London. Now the Civic Opera House will play home to the story of Walter and Liese, a West German diplomat and his wife, who are currently bound for a new posting in Brazil circa the 1960s. Unbeknownst to Walter, Liese is traveling with some extra baggage: the secret that she once served as an SS officer in Auschwitz. But the private haunting of her hidden past may soon become public knowledge -- as Liese becomes convinced that she recognizes a fellow passenger as her former prisoner. Guilt, denial, fear, courage, truth, lies and love all buoy this unforgettable emotional experience, which moves seamlessly between two narrative realms: the pristine deck of the luxury liner and the shadowy horrors of the death camp below.

Thru - Mar 15, 2015

Price: $39-$249

Show Type: Opera

Box Office: 312-332-2244

Running Time: 3hrs

Nearby Restaurants

  The Passenger Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...On Tuesday night, Lyric Opera of Chicago presented “The Passenger,” a compelling opera that manages the nearly impossible task of shedding meaningful light on the horror of Auschwitz, one of the Nazis’ most notorious slaughterhouses. With a minimum of histrionics and a maximum of exquisitely understated orchestral and vocal writing, composer Miecyzslaw Weinberg and librettist Alexander Medvedev have created an opera that pierces the heart."
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Wynne Delacoma

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...Though first produced in 2006, The Passenger was written nearly 40 years earlier, and musically it can feel like a period piece. What's more, its solemnity, pain, and three-hour running time demand endurance. Still, it's marvelously sung and acted here, and Alexander Medvedev's powerful libretto shows Auschwitz unconventionally, as a hell built not only for Jews but for multitudes from every corner of Europe. And then it can be savagely honest too. "Do not forgive them," the prisoners sing. "Never ever.""
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Tony Adler

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...In "The Passenger's" strong cast there are some enormous roles. Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, who last season sang Kundry in Wagner's Parsifal, is riveting as the panicked woman Liese, now in midlife, who seems to be on the brink of a new life, with her husband of 15 years. They are bound for his diplomatic appointment in Brazil, about to be gone from Germany for good, except for the tripwire - on the boat or in her mind. Will she get away with it? Liese's life threatens to crash around her."
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Nancy Malitz

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This moving and deeply emotional opera is a major artistic achievement for Weinber and Medvedec that is an important work that begs to be witnessed. It is an achievement to the power of the human spirit and bravery of the inmates. It demonstrates the strength of music to reach into the soul of humanity."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Bedrocked by the Chicago premiere of Miercyzslaw Weinstein’s newly revived opera The Passenger and capped by the world premiere of a brand new Klezmer opera based on a graphic novel by Israeli artist Rutu Modan, called The Property, the sum of this project raises the component parts to the level of moving masterpieces. The Lyric Opera of Chicago has met the challenge of portraying this human trainwreck with all of its resources, and the result is sublime."

Angela Allyn

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...I'm happy to report that Sir Andrew Davis and the Lyric orchestra play with passion and conviction. The beauty and power of Brandon Jovanovich's Walter are astonishing. So too are the artistry of Amanda Majeski as Marta, Daveda Karanas as Liese and Kelly Kaduce as Katya. You must go to this production to study the set designs of the late Johan Engels: Dance music on the ship's deck, in steerage, Auschwitz."
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Bill Sweetland

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...Miecyzslaw Weinberg composed a searing score. Under the always spirited baton of Sir Andrew Davis, the melodies mirror the action as Weinberg's music showcases the sharp edges of the drama. The score is less sentimental and more chaotic as one instrument breaks free of the harmony and struggles to be heard over the rest. The audio combined with the visual make this historic tragedy personal. The men's chorus may not be affected by the reenactment but the rest of us are or should be. In an evocative epilogue, Majeski sings about her losses and her promise not to forgive. A remorseful and silent Karanas is behind her. The burden of surviving becomes its own death sentence. THE PASSENGER is unforgiving and poignantly memorable."
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Katy Walsh

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