World Premiere of LEITHIAN, Part I, to be given in New York

J. R. R. Tolkien Tale Is Set by American Composer

The world premiere of Part I of the opera LEITHIAN, by Adam Klein, will be presented July 1, 2006, 7 PM at Liederkranz Hall, 6 East 87th Street, New York City.

LEITHIAN is based on THE SILMARILLION by J. R. R. Tolkien, “1977 George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd., and is used by permission.

This concert performance will feature Tami Swartz, soprano; Adam Klein, tenor; David Adam Moore, baritone; Dianna Dollman, mezzo-soprano; George Kasarjian, countertenor; and Elizabeth Hastings, music director.

THE SILMARILLION, begun in 1914 and published posthumously by Tolkien’s son Christopher, predates THE HOBBIT and its sequel THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which in fact are themselves sequels to this earlier mythic history.

LEITHIAN, or Release from Bondage, takes place in the First Age of Middle-earth, when Sauron was but a captain of an even greater evil being, Morgoth the Black Enemy. (The stories of THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS occur in the Third Age.) It is the heroic tale of how Beren and Lúthien – ancestors of Aragorn, Arwen and Elrond – achieved what the entire Elvish army could not: rescue one of the three Silmarils (luminous jewels made by the great Elf-smith Fëanor) from Morgoth’s Crown. It is also the story of the first union between Elf and Man (the last being Arwen and Aragorn).

ASCAP member Adam Klein, who studied composition with John Lessard and Donald Erb, has been a composer since age seven. He began LEITHIAN in 1982 after reading that Tolkien had hoped his stories would be set to music. Completed in 1992, this epic opera (four and one half hours of music plus intermissions) is faithful to its source: the story was not altered and no characters were omitted or conflated. The libretto blends texts by Tolkien and the composer, the former’s being too incomplete to draw from exclusively. The concert on July 1 will present the first half of the piece, though like THE LORD OF THE RINGS it was written as one continuous drama.

In addition to LEITHIAN, Mr. Klein has composed a children’s opera, GOLDIE LOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, and has written numerous songs. He has also performed in many contemporary operas, most recently AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY at the Metropolitan Opera.

Tickets at the door will be $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under.

For further information, call 212-316-1695 or visit