Something to Live For
Composer: Ronnie Reshef
Composer Bio: Composer Bio: Ronnie Reshef’s music has been described by the press as “Vivid, elegant… …smart, and gorgeous” (Houston Chronicle). Reshef’s work spans from classical music to Off-Broadway musicals, concentrating on works for the theater. Her first opera Requiem for the Living was performed in New York city, Kentucky, and Texas, where it was a finalist in 2011 Opera Vista competition. Her musical "Conspiracy!" had an Off-Broadway run at MITF, where it was nominated for best music and lyrics, among four other nominations. Most recently, her opera Something to Live For was chosen to participate in Fort-Worth Opera’s 2014 Frontiers Festival, and will receive its full production premiere by Boston Metro Opera. Awards and competitions include first prize in Atlanta Opera 24-hour Competition, Boston Metro Opera Main Stage Award, the Israeli Shirimon Contest, and others. Her 2013-2014 season includes performances of her two operas, the first prize at Atlanta Opera 24-hour-competition, an invitation to stay at Yaddo Retreat, a commission for the Qube String Quartet, and more.
Librettist: Jennie Contuzzi & Ronnie Reshef
Librettist Bio: Jennie Contuzzi graduated from the New School for Drama with a MFA in Playwriting. Her plays have been produced in New York and Los Angeles. She is a member of MCC Theater's Playwrights Coalition and the dramaturge for Speranza Theatre Company.
Other Artistic Personnel: Samuel McCoy (conductor)
Jeanne-Minette Cilliers (pianist)
Elizabeth Carlson (director)
Original Cast: Rachel Arky (Alina)
Isaac Grier (Man)
Blake Friedman (Young Man)
Chee-Shen Tan (American Officer I)
Lucas Richter (American Officer II/German Officer II)
Quentin Lee (American Officer III/German Officer I)
Aine Hakamatsuka (Yashke)

Aine Hakamatsuka
Alexandra Fees
Alexandra Filipe
Alexis Rodda
Blake Friedman
Emma Perlwitz
Isaac Grier
Kelvin Chan
Mark Nimar
Perri Sussman
Ry-An White
Quentin Lee

Premiere Date: April 04, 2013
Producing Company: Independent
Description: It is January 27th 1945, the day of liberation of “Auschwitz Birkenau”: a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Alina, a thirty-four year old prisoner, cannot celebrate with the other liberated prisoners: her eight year old son, Yashke, was taken from her upon arrival to the camp, nine months earlier, and now she is determined to find him. While debriefed by American soldiers, Alina tells her war story, starting at the transport nine months earlier, until this day of liberation. In her story, which constitutes the heart of the opera, we hear stories of Yashke and their forced separation, of Alina’s fellow prisoners, and of the cruelty of the Nazi soldiers. We enter the mind and body of a woman who is imprisoned and tortured on a racist base, and experience her distress as she must survive the daily horrors of the war in order to reunite with Yashke, who she prays for every day.

On one hand, Alina feels that she must survive solely to be there for Yashke when the war is over, and on the other hand it is Yashke who is guarding her, by his constant presence in her thoughts, keeping her from giving up and surrendering to death which waits around every corner. The thoughts of Yashke, which help Alina to survive while she dreams of the day she will find him and help him, drive this story: a historic, moving, humanistic document. Although the libretto was written as fiction, all the events it describes are based on testimonies and diaries that remained from the war, hundreds of which constitute the foundations of Something to Live For.
Character List (Major): Alina (ms)
Character List (Minor): Rena (ms)
Rosa (ms)
Ava (s)
Man (bb)
Young Man (t)
American officer I (t)
American officer II/German officer II (t)
American officer III/German officer I (b)
Yashke (bs)
Bit Parts: Woman (s)
Crazy old woman (a)
Child (bs)
Young man (t)
Length: 01:45
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: SATB
Orchestration: 1111
2 perc
strings (no less than 11111) OR piano score option
Musical Style: Tonal, accessible, dramatic
Contact: Ronnie Reshef
Address: 215 west 101st st. #9D
New York, NY 10025
E-mail Address:
Phone: (917)848-7111
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
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