Steal a Pencil for Me to premiere at Opera Colorado

DENVER, CO (November 14, 2016)—Opera Colorado has announced their 2017 – 2018 season, which continues to enrich and diversify the scope of its programming with their second world premiere in two years, while also staging enduring works from the classic repertoire. The three-production season will feature the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me, a WWII romance based on a true story, with music by Gerald Cohen and libretto by Deborah Brevoort; Giacomo Puccini’s beloved classic La Bohème; and Giuseppe Verdi’s masterful comic opera Falstaff.

“We’re thrilled to be continuing our mission to support new American work by staging the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me—right on the heels of our world premiere of The Scarlet Letter in May 2016—and sharing with audiences a richly complex and moving depiction of this true story,” said Greg Carpenter, General Director.

“I’m invigorated by the company’s innovative energy and promising trajectory as I mark my second full season,” said Ari Pelto, Opera Colorado’s inaugural Music Director. “After working closely with Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort to develop Steal a Pencil for Me for a semi-staged reading in 2013, I’m excited to bring to life this remarkable, touching work that shows the power of love and the beauty of everyday humanity during trying times.”

“I knew Jaap and Ina Polak for nearly 30 years as their cantor, and their dramatic and moving story is very close to my heart,” said Steal a Pencil for Me composer Gerald Cohen. “My parents were WWII refugees, and for a long time I contemplated creating an opera set during the Holocaust. As Jaap and Ina opened up about their wartime experience, I realized they had an extraordinary story that needed to be told. I am so thrilled to have Opera Colorado presenting the world premiere production of this opera, including the opportunity to work on it again with the superb music director Ari Pelto.”

Steal a Pencil for Me
Music by Gerald Cohen
Libretto by Deborah Brevoort
Based on the book of the same title by Jaap Polak and Ina Soep Polak
World Premiere
January 25, 27, 28, 30, 2018
Elaine Wolf Theater at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center
350 S. Dahlia Street
Creative team:
Ari Pelto Conductor
Omer Ben Seadia Director
Inna Dukach Ina Soep
Gideon Dabi Jaap Polak
Adriana Zabala Manja Polak