Michael Hersch’s On the Threshold of Winter in Chicago, January 18 & 20

Source: Ensemble Dal Niente.

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
2433 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL
Tickets $30 General /$20 Student

CHICAGO: Ensemble Dal Niente presents Michael Hersch’s searing masterpiece On the Threshold of Winter, a gripping meditation on death based on the harrowing final poems of the Romanian poet Martin Sorescu, written after the poet won the nobel prize and was diagnosed with liver cancer in the same year. For the third installment in the STAGED series, guest soprano Ah Young Hong joins Dal Niente to reprise her role as the monodrama’s “lone, blazing star” (The New York Times) in this searing, unflinching confrontation of the human journey.

Hersch first encountered Sorescu’s The Bridge in 2010, as he lost a friend to cancer while undergoing cancer treatment himself. He created his own libretto based around Sorescu’s verses and composed the opera around it. Hersch’s music exhibits dark, fragile textures and quietly complex seriousness. Here, he stitches together poems of pain and death into an emotionally affecting and enduring musical experience. Dal Niente’s staging will be the work’s third performance, and will include newly designed projections by Maxwell Bowman.

On the Threshold of Winter is scored for soprano and an ensemble of eight musicians playing flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, violin, cello, and percussion (including drums, chimes, crotales, cymbals, gongs, vibraphone, anvil). To find out more about the opera including a video trailer for the original production, go to http://www.thresholdopera.com/