Classical Music

NY stages Iran rebellion opera – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

October 17, 2022

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The Center for Contemporary Opera’s 40th season continues with We, The Innumerable by the Iranian composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh and librettist Lisa Flanagan. The workshop premiere of this one-act opera in concert form, takes place on Friday, October 21 at 7:30pm at National Sawdust.

Set during Iran’s Green Movement – a precursor to the Arab Spring – We, The Innumerable explores one woman’s courage to demand freedom in the face of the state-sanctioned violence and resist the distorted reality of authoritarianism in the Islamic Republic. We, The Innumerable considers lessons about political violence and revolt learned from the Iranian Green Movement including the fragility of democracy, the poison of propaganda, and the collective will of the people. The October 21 performance comes at a time when thousands of Iranian women are at the forefront of the anti-government uprising following Mahsa Amini’s death, removing their headscarves on the streets and burning them in protest of the compulsory Hijab.

Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin conducts a chamber ensemble comprised of piano, violin, cello, clarinet, percussion, Persian santour, and electronic effects. The music merges classical Iranian modes with classical instruments, integrating authentic Iranian instruments into a European-derived form.

The stage direction is by Harris Doran. We, The Innumerable will be sung in English that includes Persian lyrics and dialogue with English surtitle.

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