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World Premiere of Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman's Groundbreaking Opera, Lili Elbe, at Theater St. Gallen

Oct. 18, 2023

On October 22, Theater St. Gallen will present the world premiere performance of Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman's opera, Lili Elbe. Six additional performances follow the premiere of Lili Elbe which remains in repertory at Theater St. Gallen through December 3. Lucia Lucas will sing the title role and also serves as dramaturg for the production led by conductor Modestas Pitrenaas and director Krystian Lada.

Lili Elbe is the first full scale opera about a transgender person and composed for a trans opera singer in the title role. Lili Elbe (1882-1931) was one of the first persons to undergo gender affirmation surgery.Lili before transition was known as the acclaimed Danish landscape painter Einar Wegener. Einar was married to Gerda Wegener (1886-1940), herself an important artist, considered the Danish pioneer of Art Dèco and a sought-after portraitist. 

As a pioneer of gender affirmation surgery, Lili endures the terrible pains and dangers of the more limited and experimental medical science of her time, ultimately dying from complications after a second surgery. During this journey both Lili and Gerda find temporary love in different quarters. Lili and Gerda, together at the end, declare their great and everlasting love for each other, which has never altered.

Lili Elbe | Teaser Video

To learn more about Tobias Picker, visit

Tobias Picker
Lili Elbe (2023)
Libretto (Eng) by Aryeh Lev Stollman
Dramaturgy by Lucia Lucas
Opera in two acts
2(2.pic).2(, glsp, crot, s.d, vib, xylo)-hp.elec keyboard-str-SATB choir