by Daniel Hathaway
“Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward,” a line from The Book of Job, inspired the title of a full-length opera that received its Cleveland premiere last weekend at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. I saw the last of four performances on Sunday afternoon, June 12.
With libretto and music by Cathy Lesser Mansfield, the opera, which really more resembles a staged oratorio, filled the stage of Silver Hall with the 40-member cast and chorus.
The Sparks Fly Upward traces the saga of three families, two Jewish (the Rosenbaums and the Steins), one Christian (the Webers), beginning in the fall of 1938, when the Nazis start deporting Jews to Poland and the atrocities of Kristallnacht signal troubles to come. [Read more…]