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Kurt Weill

The Road of Promise

Translated titleDie Verheißung
SubtitleOratorio adapted from The Eternal Road, by Ed Harsh
Text informationOriginal German text by Franz Werfel; English lyrics by Ludwig Lewisohn, William A. Drake, and Charles Alan
Year(s) composed2012
OrchestratorKurt Weill
Text AuthorFranz Werfel
Instrumentation2(2pic).1.3.2-, vib, tri, cym, gong, s.d, 2tom-t, b.d, casts) or Hammond org or synth, acoustic pno ad lib)-str
PremiereFebruary 28, 2013; Anhaltisches Theater; Dessau / Kurt Weill Fest Dessau; Antony Hermus, conductor; soloists and opera chorus of the Anhaltisches Theater; Anhaltische Philharmonic Orchestra
LanguageEnglish (also available in German)
SynopsisLike the original stage work The Eternal Road, The Road of Promise combines a story about a modern synagogue under threat of a pogrom with stories from the Old Testament that define Jewish heritage. The oratorio consists of fourteen scenes, in which the congregants, led by their Rabbi, draw strength from the stories of Abraham, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph, Miriam, Moses, Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hananiah, and Zedekiah. A thirteen-year-old boy listens to the stories unfold and emerges as the new hope for his people.
RolesThe work requires a minimum of five or six principal vocal soloists, two speaking actors, and a moderately large chorus that can be easily divided into two parts. Roles: The Rabbi (tenor and speaking role), The Adversary (speaking role), The Thirteen Year-Old Boy (speaking role); Biblical solo characters (can be covered by four or five soloists [SMTB, SMTTB, or SMTBB]): The Voice of God (tenor) Abraham (baritone), Jacob (tenor), Rachel (soprano), Joseph (baritone [or tenor]), Miriam (mezzo-soprano), Moses (baritone), Naomi (soprano), Ruth (mezzo-soprano), Boaz (tenor), David (tenor), The Dark Angel(baritone), Solomon (baritone), Isaiah (tenor), Jeremiah (baritone), Hananiah (baritone [or tenor]); small solo roles (can be covered by soloists from the chorus): The Ten Brothers (4 tenors, 6 baritones), Angel 1 (tenor), Angel 2 (baritone), The Pagan (tenor), The Soul of Moses (soprano).

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