New York: 92nd Street YMHA, 1982. 17 x 11 inches.
Mikhoels the Wise is the first of Bruce Adolphe's two operas written for the "Jewish Opera at the Y" program at New York's 92nd Street YMHA, where it was premiered in 1982. The opera is based on historical accounts of the life, career, and murder of Solomon Mikhoels (1890-1948), the adopted stage name of Solomon Vovsi--one of the greatest serious actors of all time in the legitimate Yiddish art theater and the most prominent figure in the Soviet Yiddish theater during the decades immediately following the Bolshevik Revolution. As head of the Moscow State Jewish Theater (beginning in 1928), he was internationally renowned for many of his roles--including his acclaimed portrayal of King Lear in Yiddish. However, as chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, Mikhoels was also in many respects the de facto head of and spokesman for Soviet Jewry during the Stalin years--especially with reference to Yiddish culturally oriented segments of Soviet Jewish society. Because of his celebrity status and position of respect not only within the Soviet Jewish world, but also among left-leaning Yiddish cultural circles abroad, he was conveniently "used" by Stalin as his personal representative to the Jews for as long as it served the interests of the Soviet regime.
From the collection of Alma Law, theater historian. Item #16-2853