New York-based composer Gerald Cohen, known for his moving and vibrant chamber music, opera, choral and liturgical music, announces the exciting and important upcoming world premiere performances of his opera Steal a Pencil for Me, based on the true love story of Holocaust survivors Jaap and Ina Polak.

From January 25-30, 2018, Opera Colorado will produce the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me, with music by composer Cohen and libretto by Deborah Brevoort. The opera is a love story, full of hope, set during the the dark times of WWII concentration camps. It is based on the book of the same title by Jaap and Ina Polak, whom the composer knew for more than 25 years, and who had the chance to see the opera in its workshop phase in 2013. This unusual and dramatic plot features a love “quadrangle” revolving around the story of the dissolution of Jaap’s first marriage to the difficult Manja, his romance with Ina, and Ina’s ill-fated relationship with her youthful sweetheart Rudi. Opera Colorado Music Director and conductor Ari Pelto and stage director Omer Ben Seadia will lead a cast featuring soprano Inna Dukach, baritone Gideon Dabi, and mezzo Adriana Zabala.

Conductor Ari Pelto says, “Gerald Cohen’s music is compelling, sophisticated and approachable for the listener…There is a tight, natural connection between text and music, writing the music so as to make Deborah Brevoort’s text very clear.” He continues, “The story is compelling partly because there is no heroism. The three lead characters wrestle with the challenges, complications and emotions of life, love and partnership. At the same time, they are faced with surviving the horrors of the Holocaust.”

The opera will be performed at the Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center at the JCC, 350 S. Dahlia Street, Denver, CO. Tickets start at $20 and are available at www.operacolorado.org/steal-a-pencil-for-me/.

For more about composer Gerald Cohen, please visit geraldcohenmusic.com