A chamber opera — with libretto and music by Ari Frankel — inspired by the life, writings, and death of Primo Levi [1919-1987]. Frankel does not use any of Levi’s writings; he channels impressions while exploring implications, through tonal and modal orchestral poetry. The opera’s timeline and music morph techniques in search of truth, passion, and knowledge.
“to scratch an angel” looks at life, and at living without being alive. It explores emotions, actions, and consequences. “I write because I am a chemist,” explained Levi. “Chemistry is a struggle with matter, a masterpiece of rationality, an existential parable. Chemistry teaches vigilance combined with reason.”
At his best, Primo Levi’s palette was humankind and language. Those battlefields are where to scratch an angel’s journey begins.