“Vor an Sicht” is a preview of Judith Berkson’s forthcoming Six Points project, an opera about Salomon Sulzer. Sulzer was Vienna’s chief cantor during the 19th century who radically changed synagogue music to include organ, harmony and choir; conventions of the European church. Sulzer’s influence, starting in 1826 at the newly built Stadttempel in Vienna, had wide repercussions. His friendship with Franz Schubert, whom Sulzer commissioned to write a piece for the temple, developed during this period of religious tolerance, while Sulzer’s reforms and pluralism became a lightning rod across central Europe. His reforms ultimately gained wide popularity in Jewish centers across Europe with a group of outside admirers that included Liszt, Emperor Franz Joseph, Meyerbeer and Schumann. The story is about religion’s changing role in the age of enlightenment and romanticism and how music and art were used to fulfill ideals.
The performance will be solo arrangements from the larger work for voice, organ, drum machine and samples.
Part of the Vital Vox Vocal Festival.