Photo: Salzburger Festspiele / Ruth Walz
(Reuters) — The Berlin-born Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon left behind a body of watercolors and text she called “Life? or Theater?” before she was killed at Auschwitz in 1943 at age 26, carrying her unborn child.
Salomon’s life, which has inspired films, plays and a musical, was turned into an opera that plumbed the depths of human emotion in its premiere on Monday at the Salzburg Festival in Austria.
With music by French composer Marc-Andre Dalbavie, staging by Swiss director Luc Bondy and libretto by German-Jewish author Barbara Honigmann, who used 85 percent of Salomon’s own text, the work was the season’s most anticipated opera at the prestigious festival in the city of Mozart’s birth.
It did not disappoint.