Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Lilith" the folk opera

MUSIC: Legendary 'Lilith' inspires edgy folk opera (Janos Gereben, The Examiner). Excerpts:
“Producers of the show, which opens next week across the Bay Area, call it an “edgy folk opera” and “bawdy alternate Jewish story of Creation.”


The demonic character Lilith (in Hebrew, the name translates to “night monster” or “night hag”) first appeared in the Babylonian Talmud. Jewish folklore says she was created at the same time as Adam, but refused to be subservient to him and was forced to flee Paradise.

She mated with archangel Samael, becoming an accuser, seducer and destroyer. Even worse, she was a child-killer. A succubus, she roamed at night, seeking newborn babies and strangling them in their sleep.

Soprano Heather Klein doesn’t seem daunted about playing the evil character. She calls the score a “huge work that brings together so many genres — Jewish liturgical, operatic and folk,” and adds that she is “amazed by the character-driven melodies that bring this daring Yiddish and English libretto to life.”
Lilith started out as a Sumerian wind demon who was transmogrified into a baby-killing Babylonian demon; she made an appearance as a ruins-inhabiting demon in the Bible (Isaiah 34:14); she took a side turn to become Adam's disobedient first wife in Jewish legend; and she also became a Jewish demon who went back to her baby-killing ways. She gets around.

I was surprised at how many past PaleoJudaica posts there are on Lilith. They (excluding ones whose links have succumbed to link rot) are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.