The Silent Partner
Music by Matthew Recio
Libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann
World Premiere Summer 2026
The Silent Partner (formerly L'Autre Moi) is written for 7 singers and 13 instruments, including electronics. In addition to commissioning, West Edge Opera is supporting Fleischmann and Recio over the next 3 years with workshops and preview performances - building toward its world premiere in August 2026.
The opera tells the story of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore: two women – romantic and artistic partners - Jewish activists and surrealist photographers who used their art to magnify resistance against Nazi Germany.
Says librettist Fleischmann, ‘When I first came across the iconic image of Claude Cahun in boxing garb, with the words “Don’t kiss me, I’m in training” inscribed across their chest, I felt I had found my hero. Delving deeper into their body of work, which encompasses surrealist writing and collage as well as chameleonic feminist self-portraiture prefiguring Cindy Sherman by half a century, I was transfixed by their collaboration with lifelong partner Marcel Moore and the way these two women—camouflaged as a pair of cat-loving spinsters—harnessed their inquiry into gender and identity to implement a resistance on the Isle of Jersey during World War II that was perceived by the Germans as the work of a small army. Larger than life, infused with a dream logic and a heightened, angular theatricality, their story was crying out to be opera.’
Commissioned by West Edge Opera with Norm Abramson, Hilary Honore, Erica Nietfeldand Royce Kelley, Terry McKelvey and Heli Roiha, Michael Walsh and Martha Soukup, and the National Endowment for the Arts.