Program Recap: Jews in American Opera- From Importers to Innovators

January 31, 2023
by Rebeca Miller

Jews in American Opera originally aired on February 3rd 2022. 

Daniel Walber leads a discussion on the history of the Jewish impact on American Opera. Opera arrived in America as a European import, with Jews playing an essential role in its promotion from the moment Lorenzo da Ponte landed in Philadelphia. A century later, a generation of European refugees would take their operatic experience and use it to develop two of the most quintessentially American art forms: the Hollywood movie and the Broadway musical. But, contrary to what you may have heard, opera didn’t die in the aftermath. Rather, today’s American Jewish composers have been hard at work pushing boundaries and reconceptualizing just what opera can do.

Topics covered in this program: Lorenzo DePonte, Max Richter, Jacques Offenbach, Leonard Bernstein, Max Meredith, Eric Wolfgang Korngold, Kurt Weill, Beverly Sills, American Opera as a genre, the Hollywood musical, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera.