“Mamzer Bastard” at Royal Opera House, London | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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“Mamzer Bastard” at Royal Opera House, London

A still from the trailer of “Mamzer Bastard”
(Courtesy: Royal Opera House)

“Mamzer Bastard” will be on stage at Royal Opera House, London.

The Royal Opera presents the world premiere of a new work by composer Na’ama Zisser, in a sound world that thrillingly unites contemporary idioms with the music of Orthodox Hasidic Judaism. The opera is conducted by Jessica Cottis.

The story opens with the scene wherein it is the night before Yoel’s wedding, an arranged marriage within his Orthodox Hasidic community. He is wracked with doubt. A chance encounter with a stranger reveals truths about Yoel that changes everything.

“Mamzer Bastard” is the latest opera by Israeli-born composer Na’ama Zisser. Her numerous stage works include the horror opera “Black Sand” (Tete a Tete and Grimeborn) and the dance works “Ghosts!” (Sadler’s Wells), “Fill in the Blanks” (The Place), and “Street Stories” (East London Dance and Linbury Studio Theatre). Mamzer Bastard is the culmination of Zisser’s doctoral residency with The Royal Opera and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; her predecessor in the role was Philip Venables, who wrote the award-winning “4.48 Psychosis” for his doctorate.

“In the opera Zisser tells a story set within the Orthodox Jewish community, merging her own musical idiom with the Jewish cantorial style of the 20th century. ‘Mamzer’ is a Hebraic word that roughly translates as ‘bastard’ — it denotes a person born from a relationship that is forbidden according to Jewish religious law. Through her setting within the New York Hasidic community in the 1970s, Zisser explores how much a person will sacrifice for their religion, their community and other people’s happiness,” writes the Royal Opera House website.

Please note that “Mamzer Bastard” contains partial nudity. The opera has been supported by The Royal Opera in association with Hackney Empire, co-commission with The Guildhall School of Music & Drama

The songs are sung in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, with English surtitles. Music has been composed by Na’ama Zisser, libretto is by Samantha Newton and Rachel C. Zisser, the director of the opera is Jay Scheib, Madeleine Boyd is the designer, lighting designer is D.M. Wood, video designer is Paulina Jurzec, soundtrack designer is Yair Elazar Glotman and orchestra is by Aurora Orchestra.

The opera will be on stage from June 14 through June 17, 2018, at Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E8 1EJ

For details, visit: http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/mamzer-bastard-by-naama-zisser

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the opera.