NYTimes on new Judith Berkson opera, 'The Vienna Rite' on Salomen Sulzer
As far as the KlezmerShack is concerned, Judith Berkson is one of the most creative people doing new Jewish music (and old) today.
"Mash-Up of Schubert and Synagogue Tradition" Judith Berkson’s New Opera, ‘The Vienna Rite’, Allan Kozinnn, Nov 1, 2012
'Ms. Berkson’s latest project — “The Vienna Rite,” a chamber opera that will have its premiere at Roulette on Friday and Saturday — mashes up and amplifies those interests even further. The work’s hero is Salomon Sulzer, a 19th-century Viennese cantor and composer whose settings of Hebrew prayers are still used in synagogues, and the plot is, basically, Sulzer’s creation of the modern synagogue service in 1828. “We’re looking at a specific window in which Sulzer is putting together the Vienna rite,” Ms. Berkson, a soft-spoken 35-year-old, explained in an interview last week in the back room at Barbès, a Park Slope, Brooklyn, club where she often performs. “We’re looking in on his creative process, so we see him working with his friend and teacher, Ignaz von Seyfried, who was a friend of Beethoven’s, and Joseph Drechsler, who helped him and contributed pieces. We see his boys’ choir bringing the music to life. And Schubert is always in the mix.”' [more]