The Concept Album of the new musical drama Soviet Zion has been released online.
This feature-length operatic radio play telling an original story inspired by the curious history of Siberia’s Jewish Autonomous Region is the debut recording of the long-awaited, lavish and ambitious score showcasing twelve exceptional vocalists and featuring unique bonus material.
Featuring a book by Giles Howe with Roberto Trippini and music by Giles Howe and Katy Lipson, the new contemporary opera Soviet Zion explores the intertwining lives of pioneers who each move to Siberia participating in the real-life movement to establish there the first Jewish homeland of the modern era – a Yiddish-speaking, socialist utopia. Challenged by the unexpected reality they must face, great sacrifice must be made to achieve the freedom they seek.
Set against this grand historical backdrop the story of six intertwining lives explores questions of identity, integrity, belonging and nationhood; offering a glimpse into what happened to this alternative homeland.
This thought-provoking and powerful tale follows two contrasting families arriving as pioneers to settle the Far East of Russia just as so many others are preparing to leave behind the social experiment. The experiences of an American girl arriving from Malibu who struggles to adapt to her very different new life contrast with those of another woman who, betrayed by her leaders and manipulated into compromising the man she loves, must strategize carefully her every move. As war rages and their dreams become a nightmare, how will they escape? And where can they call home?
After first premiering in concert at The London Jewish Museum in 2014, this eagerly anticipated new version of Soviet Zion features luscious new symphonic orchestrations created in collaboration with film-score arranger Brian Freeland using unconventional instruments to create a distinctive and vast musical landscape which draws influence from epic sources – “These complex orchestrations support the outstanding singing required of the exceptional vocalists this show demands.”
Creative Director and Co-Producer Giles Howe shares “Produced during the height of the lockdown restrictions, we overcame many unusual challenges in safely bringing to life this ambitious recording.” Coproducer Katy Lipson who has produced many successful live musicals added “As the Covid crisis continues to affect live theatre, this medium offers a way to bring quality work to audiences worldwide.”
Soviet Zion stars Kate Radmilovic as Mirele, Kimberly Blake as Zofia, Sam Young as Iser, Joseph Claus as David, Michaela Stern as Bayla, John Ellis as Oskar, Bruno Loxton as the Officer, Toni Green as Yenta/Narrator, David Francis as Joshua.
Completing the cast are Naomi Kilby, Michal Ish-Horowitz, and guest vocalist Jeff Kuznicki. The project is engineered, mixed and mastered by Vasken Arslainen.
Soviet Zion is available through online music platforms including iTunes, Apple Music and Amazon.
For further information about Soviet Zion, please visit https://www.sovietzion.com/