The Weeping Woman

December Years (Erin Nafziger, Soprano, Karen Schwartz, Piano)

 

Through the Benefit of Time (Erin Nafziger, Soprano, Karen Schwartz, Piano)

 

If I Should Come Down from the Mountain (Erin Nafziger, Soprano, Karen Schwartz, Piano)

 

The Weeping Woman is an opera based on the relationship between Pablo Picasso and one of his lover/models, Dora Maar. The lyrics and libretto are by Brian Leahy Doyle.

The Weeping Woman

Synopsis

The Weeping Woman is based upon the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar, who was Picasso’s “official mistress” from 1935-1943. Born Henriette Theodora Markovitch, Dora is a poet, photographer, and painter in her own right and affiliated with the French Surrealists when she meets Picasso. The opera charts the course of their relationship beginning with their first meeting at Deux Magots, a Paris restaurant frequented by the Surrealists, where she catches Picasso’s attention by taking a knife and playing with it between her fingers on a table top. Picasso desires Dora, finds her physically attractive and intellectually stimulating, and they become lovers and collaborators even though Picasso is also in a relationship with Marie-Therese Walter, his “secret concubine,” with whom he has sired a child. Picasso plays upon both women’s feelings for him, encouraging their rivalry and animosity toward each other. Dora also sits for Picasso, who at times humiliates and abuses her so that he can paint in extreme emotional distress. Dora also plays a part in Picasso’s painting of his masterpiece, “Guernica.” In the end, though, Picasso abandons Dora, and in the final moments of the opera she strives to feel a sense of closure and freedom in her life.

Below are computer generated recordings of the pieces from the opera.

December Years

 

Through the Benefit of Time

 

Starting in Paris before the War

 

Au Revoir, Secret Concubine

 

Now the present

 

Our Excursion into Madness

 

In Picasso’s World

 

Right Before a Thunderstorm

 

Kissing to be Clever

 

A Moment of Discovery

 

Could This be a Song About You

 

Being a Surrealist

 

He Leaves My Bed in the Morning

 

The Minotaur Song

 

Guernica

 

Blitzkrieg

 

Paris is Without its City Lights

 

In the Studio

 

Now, My Love, About Your Divorce

 

Here or There or Anywhere

 

A Thunderstorm Followed by a Rainbow

 

If I Should Come Down from the Mountains