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A New Opera-Music-Theater Work

Special Preview Performance
The National Arts Club | 15 Gramercy Park So., NYC
Monday, September 11, 2017 | Doors 7.00 PM | Show 8.00 PM

FREE with RSVP| Seating is very limited
For password please inquire at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please RSVP with your name and the full names of your guests.  Guest places are not transferable.
Due to the very limited seating capacity, please do not RSVP unless you are certain of attending.

The Hungarian Cultural Center invites you to Semmelweis, a new opera-music-theater work at the prestigious National Arts Club. Semmelweis is a project of New York composer Raymond J. Lustig and writer Matthew Doherty, in collaboration with acclaimed Slovenian vocal theater director Karmina Šilec, Dutch dramaturg Erwin Maas, and other notable artists. The upcoming 200th anniversary of Semmelweis’s birth (2018) presents a powerful moment to reflect on the mystery of insight, on our collective wisdom, the push and pull between genius and hubris, and this winding, messy course of human progress.

About the Performance

The 70-minute operatic-theatrical work, is inspired by the tragic yet true story of nineteenth-century Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), who discovered the cure for the devastating epidemic of childbed fever, but could not convince the world of the simple solution, and died alone in an asylum.  The work takes as its starting point the inner psyche of Dr. Semmelweis as he pursues the answer, then descends into despair and madness, haunted by the thousands of mothers he has not been able to save.

semmelweis cikk

About the Creative Team

Raymond J. Lustig – Composer  (New York, NY, USA)  Award-winning composer whose symphonic, chamber, and multi-media works are performed worldwide.

Matthew Doherty – Librettist  (USA, based in Saudi Arabia)  Writer, poet, and world traveler whose work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Poetry, and Glimmer Train.

Karmina Šilec – Music Director (Ljubljana, Slovenia)  Internationally acclaimed director, conductor, composer and theater creator whose Choregie concept of vocal theater, developed on her ensemble Carmina Slovenica, has made waves on major stages worldwide.

Erwin Maas – Stage Director (Netherlands, based in New York, NY USA)  Internationally acclaimed theater maker working extensively in the USA, Europe, and South Africa.


The SEMMELWEIS project owes its inception to American Opera Projects's Composers and the Voice residency.  Several early workshop prototypes were staged with AOP's generous support at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, HERE Arts in New York City, the New York Academy of Medicine, and South Oxford Space, Brooklyn, and selected for a special AOP workshop with eminent director Jonathan Miller.  Additional support comes from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ensemble Studio Theater, Musiktheater Wien, and Dr. Warren Widmann.



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