Opera without music

I have written an Opera without music. There are many operas without words, but this is different. Some people have asked, why not call it a play? The answer is simple, that it is an Opera, in fact it is a libretto. It proceeds in scenes intended to be dramatic and coloful that need operatic staging and music. The primary reason why I haven’t written the music is that I am unable to do so, although I have a good idea of how I would like it to sound.

I appreciate Boito’s “Mefistofele” which is a rather obscure Opera, the only full Opera written by Arrigo Boito, a 19th century Italian librettist. I love his whistling aria, that is quite distinct in Opera. I also love Verdi and Rossini and all sorts of dramatic operatic flourishes. I also appreciate modern stagings, for example of “Nixon in China” by John Adams and the work of Phillip Glass. My Opera without Music is based on the three most dramatic events for me of the 19th century, the Russian revolution of 1917, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis in 1943 and the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. I have one Jew who participates in all of them, and he is red-haired so that he can be readily identified throughout the action. If he were 17 at the time of the revolution he would be 48 at the founding of the State, quite feasible.

I am interested in hearing from any musicians and/or composers out there who might also be prepared to work on a score with me. Of course, this is not an immediately remunerative project, in other words I am not prepared to pay for this. But, in the long-term one never knows what will happen. Short term there is the opportunity to participate in a unique project, the possibility that once completed such a project could be appreciated, and also might then bring in some payment. Meanwhile I am guarding my libretto until someone who seems serious comes along and can send me an example of his or her musical accompaniment. Until then I will have time to devise a suitable title, any suggestions?

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.