Set in NYC in 1948, the opera follows Holocaust survivor Herman Broder. He spent the war in a hayloft, hidden by Polish peasant Yadwiga, whom he later married. Here in New York, though, he’s also in love with a fascinating mistress, herself a survivor. And then his first wife, believed dead, reappears. Lying and daydreaming, in perpetual desperation, Herman juggles these three secret lives, plus a secret job - as long as he can. Will he be caught at last, perhaps by the ordinary human need for happiness?