Steal a Pencil for Me

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Libretto by Deborah Brevoort/Music by Gerald Cohen.

A full-length opera about one the Holocaust’s most unusual love stories—between Jaap Polak, a Dutch accountant and Ina Soep, the daughter of a wealthy diamond manufacturer—who fell in love in the Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Based on their love letters, which were published in a book of the same title, Steal a Pencil for Me is about the indestructibility of the life spirit and the power of humankind to survive adversity. The opera dramatizes intimate concerns and private dramas alongside the epic horrors of the Holocaust.

"…their improbable story was brought to life in chilling detail… The narrative, vividly portrayed via both music and dialogue, is rich with cruel irony and grim humor but also irrepressible joie de vivre…It has a happy ending, which moved several audience members to tears.” —Lucid Culture