Sandra Then
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Sandra Then
Sandra Then
Sandra Then
Sandra Then
Sandra Then

Frank Pesci


Opera by Frank Pesci
Libretto by Andrew Altenbach
World Premiere

Wed /
oct 23
StaatenHaus Saal 3 / 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. / Vorstellung / 35 € - 50 €

+ Einführung | +Nachgespräch


It's a true story that happened in New Orleans in 1890. The city on the Mississippi has developed into a prosperous port and trading metropolis. Sicilian immigrants in particular set foot on New World soil here for the first time, dreaming of a life of freedom and justice.

However, numerous gangs struggle for dominance. Caught in the midst: Police Commissioner David Hennessy. On 15 October 1890, David Hennessy was shot dead in the street by unknown persons. Suspicion falls on Sicilian immigrants, many men are arrested, some are acquitted for lack of evidence. But a frenzied mob invades the prison and lynches the still-imprisoned men, even though they had been acquitted. The horrific case caused a huge stir in the community, which still resonates today.

The opera's plot centres on the young couple Iania and Emmanuele, who have come to New Orleans with high hopes, but find themselves caught up in the intrigues surrounding the police, judiciary and vigilante justice of the Hennessy trial. In the process, they struggle for identity, self-assertion and their future. The divergent cultural influences in the American South are reflected in the specific New Orleans jazz that composer Frank Pesci incorporates into the opera. "The Strangers" is a contemporary, emotional and haunting evening of opera with a clear narrative structure and one of the social issues that touch our time.

Frank Pesci, born 1974 in the U S A, works as a freelance composer in Cologne. His oeuvre includes a variety of choral music, chamber music, orchestral works and operas. He has already worked with the Gürzenich Orchester, who commissioned a work from him which was premiered in 2021.


Musikalische Leitung Harry Ogg / Inszenierung Maria Lamont / Bühne & Kostüme Luis F. Carvalho / Licht Andreas Grüter / Dramaturgie Svenja Gottsmann, Stephan Steinmetz /

Iania Costa
Emmanuele Polizzi
David Hennessy
Margaret Hennessy
Billy O'Connor
William Parkerson
Catarina Costa