In 1924, the famous Polish-Jewish composer, mounted in Warsaw a chamber version of his new Yiddish opera, Bas Sheve, based on the controversial biblical story of David and Bathsheba. Forgotten or ignored for almost 100 years, in 2019 Yiddish Summer Weimar commissioned the renowned klezmer performer and composer, Joshua Horowitz, to recreate Kon’s opera by arranging it for full orchestra and composing new music to fill in the score’s missing pieces. The superb result is a true landmark, not only in today’s Yiddish music but also in the world of contemporary opera.
We offer this work with the original cast (please see below), or as a rare and exciting project for conservatory music students and community orchestras and choirs. The score is also available for professional productions, in which case we highly recommend also working with the composer and the Yiddish language dramaturge to ensure a high-quality performance.
The original production of Bas Sheve (2019) consisted of music students from Poland, France and Germany. Conceived and led by Dr. Diana Matut, an internationally respected Yiddish scholar, vocalist and musicologist, the project leading to the orchestration and performance of Bas Sheve included residencies in all three countries in which Henech Kon himself had lived. In a unique educational adventure, the students were immersed in the Yiddish language, cultural and musical history of Kon’s era, greatly enriching the student’s knowledge and deeply informing their performance.
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Joshua Horowitz (USA) – artistic director, arrangement
Diana Matut (D) – artistic director, research
and European conservatory students
Composer: Henech Kon/Joshua Horowitz
Libretto: Moyshe Broderzon/Michael Wex
21.08.2019 – Łódź, Poland
16.08.2019 – World Premiere @ Yiddish Summer Weimar, Germany