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Opera and Democracy: Songs from Exile

Music by Geiger-Kullmann, Aron, Toch

Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
Allgemein: Free

The concert introduces two German-Jewish composers in American exile: Paul Aron and Rosy Geiger-Kullmann. Aron, a protagonist of the German interwar avant-garde, founded an opera company in New York in the 1950s to popularize the works of émigrés such as Darius Milhaud, Kurt Weill, Tadeusz Kassern, and Ernst Toch through piano arrangements and English translations. One of these - his English version of Toch’s short opera Egon & Emilie - will be presented alongside exile songs by Aron. Geiger-Kullmann, a successful opera composer of the Weimar Republic, was born in Frankfurt and fled from the Nazis to New York and later to Monterey. Excerpts from her opera Columbus, written after her arrival in New York, and two stage works from her years in Germany have been reconstructed and will be performed in excerpts – a world premiere.

Rosy Geiger-Kullmann: 

  • Ouvertüre & Pavane from „Columbus“ (World Premiere)
  • Love duet Emanuela & Euchar from „Emanuela“
  • Monologue Artus from „Ritter Lanzelot“

Paul Aron:

  • From „Zwei Lieder nach Gedichten von Christian Morgenstern,“ No 1. Es ist Nacht (New York, Jan. 26 – 1950)
  • From „In Memoriam … Three Songs (William Butler Yeats),“ No. 2. To Judd. Had I the Heaven’s (New York, Aug. 24 – 1947)
  • From „Vier Herbstlieder (Herman Hesse),“ No. 1. Der stille Hain (Prague, Aug. 10 – 1937, revised: New York, July 29 – 1947)
  • From „Vier Herbstlieder (Herman Hesse),“ No. 4. Ich habe nichts mehr zu sagen (New York, Aug. 7 – 1947)

Ernst Toch (arr. Paul Aron):

  • Edgar & Emily

Musicians: Manhattan School of Music

Ellie Pope, soprano

Benjamin Warschawski, tenor

Benjamin Sokol, baritone

Elliot Roman, piano


Kai Hinrich Müller (Thomas Mann House, Los Angeles)

Opera and Democracy: Listening to Exile is a series of concerts and discussions co-hosted by 1014 – space for ideas, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Goethe-Institut, the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin, American Society for Jewish Music, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. It is initiated by Thomas Mann House and curated by Thomas Mann Fellow Kai Hinrich Müller.

Please note this is an in-person event at the Center for Jewish History.