It's not often that a composer and librettist can consult with the characters who inspire an opera. But that was exactly the case with Steal a Pencil for Me, which gets its premiere this month. It's about Jaap and Ina Polak, a real-life Jewish couple from the Netherlands who survived the Holocaust. Host Naomi Lewin spoke with the composer, Gerald Cohen, and the librettist, Deborah Brevoort.
The work premieres at Shaarei Tikvah Congregation in Scarsdale on Sunday and at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York on Tuesday.