Culver City Observer -

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By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

Come listen, how Armageddon was averted at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

 

October 20, 2022

Vasili Arkhipov

Jacaranda's concert premiere of ARKHIPOV, a new opera by composer Peter Knell and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, winner of Opera America's 2022 Campbell Librettist Prize, will have two performances on October 21 and 22 at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

The opera is based on a true story of how Armageddon was barely averted during a tipping point in the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) due to the moral conviction of one man - Soviet naval officer Vasili Arkhipov - who succeeded in diffusing one of the most terrifying conflicts in history and whose heroism was kept under wraps by the Soviet Union for four decades.

Knell and Fleischmann have created an experience set in a submarine. For a brief, pivotal moment, Fleet Chief of Staff Arhkipov's presence of mind was all that would stand between humanity's existence and its annihilation. He prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and therefore a possible nuclear war.

Olga Arhkipov

Filtered through the memory of Arkhipov's widow Olga, who has been tasked by her husband with telling his story - and must do so under interrogation after his death - ARKHIPOV is a powerfully moving exploration of grace under pressure, human fallibility, and our potential to overcome almost impossible odds.

It eerily foreshadows the current reality that the world appears closer to the use of nuclear weapons that at any point in decades with the situation depending on Putin's mental state.

The female-driven production features Daniela Candillari conducting a cast of ten singers plus the eighteen-member Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to: jacarandamusic.org

 

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