Download the DARKLING Opera Premiere Press Release


“Brave and sensitive”…“captivating theatrical images. (Stefan Weisman's) music is personal, moody and skillfully wrought.”

— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

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“An unlikely collaboration of Wagner, Sally Bowles and Steven Spielberg could have spawned Darkling… opera snobs and novices alike won’t regret wandering downtown.”

— Lisa Quintila, Time Out NY



“The poem itself is a multi-layered evocation of the Holocaust…The power of Darkling is in its sophisticated execution; but it is an exercise of remembrance above all.”

— Heidi Waleson, Opera News



“This is a profound, provocative piece of musical theater—one that I hope will occasion a great many opera lovers to stray from habitual paths. As specific as the context of Darkling may be, its message is ultimately universal.”

— Steve Smith, Night After Night

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“…a new opera that is so multi-layered it defies description…Bravo to AOP for supporting such controversial and ultimately important work…”

— Megan Jenkins, Opera Today

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 “…Dana Gioia, Anne Carson, and Glyn Maxwell have all written librettos of late. None of these works, however, approach the ambition of American Opera Projects’ recent adaptation of Anna Rabinowitz’s 2001 volume, Darkling…this is a Reebok bump with a GPS device attached to the laces.”

— John Freeman, Poetry Foundation

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Download the DARKLING CD Press Release


“Originally a book-length poem, then a multimedia theatre piece, Anna Rabinowitz’s tale of a Holocaust survivor rummaging through the scattered memorabilia of her murdered family spins a powerful, unsettled web, the often allusive nature of the story reflecting significant gaps in her own family history in the wake of Poland’s Nazi occupation. Where Rabinowitz originally found a structural solution in an acrostic poem inspired by Thomas Hardy’s The Darkling Thrush, composer Stefan Weisman mirrors that approach in his tight, emotionally mercurial score.”

— Ken Smith, Gramophone

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“...engrossing…beautifully recorded…a compelling listen… a vivid and satisfying picture of a challenging historical period.”

— Alexandra Gardner, New Music Box

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“…textured with vocal and string quartet sequences that smolder or gleam, Darkling is a memory quest and testimonial to broken knowledge…Voices hover and parry, with Weisman’s arias providing both tension and release…Darkling is deeply mindful work.”

— Alan Lockwood, Time Out

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“Just when you think you’ve heard every angle possible on the Holocaust, along comes Stefan Weisman’s chamber opera Darkling to gently—yet forcefully—illuminate another sorrowful corner…[Weisman’s] delicate and eclectic language tie[s] together Rabinowitz’s powerful fragments.”

— Bruce Hodges, The Julliard Journal Online

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“This dense, unsettling volume makes a unique contribution to Holocaust literature.”

Publisher’s Weekly



“…[a] daring book-length masterpiece…”

— Sharon Dolin, Jacket Magazine

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Buy the book!


“Rabinowitz muses on displacement and the fracturing of language and self, and mass murder and the guilt and grief of the living, in a piercing and powerful incantation”… “[an] elegantly structured and timely poem of loss and remembrance.”




“…like all great work, I have already read it several times. Charles Reznikoff's long impersonal poem Holocaust and the very personal Darkling are the ineradicable Twin Towers of Holocaust poetry in English.”

— David Kozubei, Frigate

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“…not a book of poems, nor even a single long poem, but a single poetic gesture, a linguistic act…an extraordinarily intense experiment in language and the emotional freighting of…lives”

— Bin Ramke, Boston Review

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“In the most profound and prolific manner imaginable, Anna Rabinowitz's Darkling breaks the silence of history, breaking open the everlasting testaments of courage in a dark time… Darkling is the ceremony of a great soul, and we must, we shall gladly attend it.”

— Donald Revell, Editor, Colorado Review

Public Radio Interview

Encore magazine video review: