The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language

May 4, 2024 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language
South Oxford Space, 138 South Oxford Street
  • Arts and Culture

The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language—composed by Alex Weiser, libretto by Ben Kaplan.

The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language tells the tragi-comic story of Yiddish linguist Yudel Mark’s unfinished effort to create the first comprehensive Yiddish dictionary. The Great Dictionary invites audiences to contemplate the surprisingly grand ambition of Yiddish culture after its decimation during the Holocaust and to consider the power of language to transform and shape us.

With a runtime of 60 minutes, the concert is performed by an ensemble of five singers, combining characters based on historical figures with those inspired by Jewish mystical themes; the character of Yudel Mark is haunted by three ‘alefs,’ divine emanations of the Yiddish language—played by three mezzo-sopranos—who compel him to breathe new life into Yiddish as he struggles to complete the dictionary.

The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language is presented in partnership with the American Opera Projects as part of Bang on a Can’s Long Play festival.

About Bang on a Can’s Long Play festival: Bang on a Can presents the 3rd annual Long Play, a three-day destination music festival, Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5, 2024! Featuring 50+ concerts (including Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith, Jeff Mills’s Tomorrow Comes the Harvest, Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, Deerhoof, + Jason Moran, Ligeti Quartet, Raw Poetic and Damu the Fudgemunk, Bang on a Can All-Stars performing Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 1996, ), Long Play also showcases a dense network of inventive music venues in Brooklyn – with performances at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Roulette, Public Records, BRIC, Irondale Center for the Arts, The Center for Fiction, plus outdoor events and more.

About American Opera Projects: Founded in 1988, American Opera Projects (AOP) has been at the forefront of contemporary opera for over 30 years. The Brooklyn-based producing organization commissions, develops and produces lyric theater projects, trains emerging composers and librettists, and creates personal connections within its community. Its works have received critical acclaim at opera companies and venues around the world, establishing a new musical canon that recognizes the operatic story in every life. AOP further expands the operatic field through its training programs The NYU Opera Lab, in partnership with NYU and for students and alumni in The NYU/Tisch Opera Lab; and Composers & the Voice, AOP’s in-house, two-year fellowship program for emerging composers and librettists.