Between Two Worlds (The Dybbuk)
Composer: Shulamit Ran
Librettist: Charles Kondek
Other Artistic Personnel: Arthur Fagen, Conductor; Jonathan Eaton, Stage Director; Danila Korogodsky, Set and Costume Designer
Original Cast: Members of Lyric Opera Center for American Artists: sopranos Alicia Berneche, Elena Kolganova, Robin Blitch Wiper; mezzo-sopranos Buffy Baggott, Jessie Raven; tenors James Cornelison, Stanley Jackson, Misha Royzen; baritones William Andrew Stuckey, Kirk Walker; bass-baritone Mark McCrory. Guest artists: soprano Mary Jane Kania and tenor Matthew Polenzani.
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: June 20, 1997
Producing Company: Lyric Opera of Chicago
Description: Leya, about to enter an arranged marriage, is actually in love with Khonnon, and after he dies, she becomes possessed of his soul. This possession comes to a climax during the arranged marriage ceremony. The resulting exorcism of the “dybbuk” leaves Leya resting before the marriage can continue. Khonnon appears to the sleeping Leya, and tells her that although he has now left her body, he is now forever part of her soul.
courtesy of Theodore Presser Company
Character List (Major): Leya(s); Khonnon(t); Reb Azriel(b); Sender(bar); Freyde(mz)
Character List (Minor): Reb Shimshon/Meyer(bar); Gittel(s); Hennakh(mzo–pants role); Asher/Menashe(t); Reb Mendel(b); Bassia(s); Nakhman(t)
Bit Parts: 6 Wandering Souls
Reviews: Opera News, December 1997; Chicago Tribune; Chicago Sun-Times, Wynne Delacoma, 6-22-1997; New Music Connoisseur, James L. Paulk, Fall 1997; Opera (UK), William Shackelford, January 1998; USA Today, David Patrick Stearns, 6-23-1997
Comments: To dramatize the two worlds, the composer uses a number of devices, not the least of them being amplified voices to represent the former and acoustical voices, the latter. The drama has an Eastern European Jewish setting, which the composer, a native of Israel, has accentuated by introducing Hasidic laments and klezmer folk dances.
Length: 02:30
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: SATB Chorus
Orchestration: 2 fl (2 picc, afl), ob (Eng hrn), 2 cl(2 Ebcl, acl), 1 cbsn - hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn(btbn) - 3 perc, pf - 4 vln, 2 vla, 2 vc, db; 3 shofars (recorded shofar and sampled shofar sounds may be subsitituted)
Musical Style: Expressive contemporary idiom incorporating Jewish folk and liturgical elements
Contact: Theodore Presser Company
Address: 588 North Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
E-mail Address:
Phone: 610-592-1222
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Between Two Worlds (The Dybbuk) (Ran)
Friday, June 20, 1997 - Lyric Opera of Chicago
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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