At the heart of the opera stand Adam and Lilith. As written by composer-librettist Horowitz, they resemble a Garden of Eden version of George and Martha, the pugilistic protagonists from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”The article is quite well informed and goes into a lot of detail both about the opera (which opens on 1 May) and about the mythic background of the story. The opera itself seems to have made good use of all this material and Heather Klein makes a cute Lilith. I wish I could make it to San Francisco to see this one.
Though the opera is filled with salacious dialogue and NC-17 topics, Horowitz says none of it came from him. He drew his Lilith story directly from accounts in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Talmud, the Zohar and a medieval Jewish tale called “The Alphabet of Ben Sira,” which added juicy details to the saga.
Though not directly mentioned in the Torah, the Lilith figure explains for some the presence of two creation stories in Genesis. Lilith, presumably, was Adam’s first bride, later tossed away for Adam’s trophy wife, Eve.