The Dybbuk possessed their souls
A Jewish tale of exorcism, love and passion between the dead and the living.
The opera The Dybbuk by the American composer Solomon Epstein is based on S. An-Sky’s 1920 Yiddish play, which has become a legend in Jewish culture.The opera was world premiered in 1999, Israel, and is apparently the world’s first original yiddish opera.
The Dybbuk is a tale, which takes place in a small Jewish town where the souls of both the living and the dead transcend their respective realms. Leah falls in love with Hanan, a Kabbalah student. Soon after Hanan is overcome by powers beyond his control and dies, a male voice emanates from Leah’s body. The spirit of Hanan has taken control of her in the form of a demon, a dybbuk, and refuses to leave. An especially riveting moment occurs when Leah, the soprano, is singing, but Hanan's tenor voice is heard, and an elusive vocal exchange begins.
Music: This is a contemporary opera which reflects the music of the period when the play was written. In addition to Debussy’s and Bartok’s spirit, The Dybbuk of Solomon Epstein leaves space for the Jewish musical tradition. The production is an abridged version in three acts. Italian book by Aloma Bardi, "Esotismi musicali del Dibbuk" (2014) dedicated a chapter to the opera, and appears on the front cover. University of Naples.
A film by Rachel Michaeli
Opera Magazine, UK
Forward, New York
Director: Rachel Michaeli
Composer: Solomon Epstein
Conductor: Ronen Borshevsky
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