Affecting premiere of `Sophie's Choice'

Rich music, stellar cast highlight story about Holocaust

Opera Review

September 23, 2006|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,sun music critic

Documentation of the Holocaust has never been in doubt, except, of course, among a worrisome fringe that now includes at least one head of state. Comprehension of the Holocaust is another matter entirely.

Artists of all types have tried over the decades to open windows into the darkness, windows that historians and sociologists might miss, looking for answers, uncovering still more questions. Among these many efforts is a widely read novel by William Styron, Sophie's Choice, which has been turned by Nicholas Maw into an affecting opera. It received its American premiere Thursday in Washington with a stellar cast led by Marin Alsop, music director-designate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

If you go Washington National Opera presents Sophie's Choice at 2 p.m. tomorrow; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Oct. 5; 7 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 9 at the Kennedy Center, off Virginia and New Hampshire avenues Northwest. Tickets are $45 to $225. Call 202-295-2400 or 800-876-7372, or visit

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