Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul premiered in 1950 and enjoyed a spectacular Broadway run of 269 performances as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Music. In a world still recoiling from World War II and coming to terms with the grim realities of the Cold War, its themes of suppression, governmental indifference, and despair found resonance around the world.

The Consul takes place in an unnamed country where Magda Sorel is desperate to obtain visas to enable her family to emigrate and escape persecution. The endless waiting erodes what hope she clings to, until a tragic and shattering deed concludes both the opera and her terrible saga.

Immediately following The Consul’s New York run, it was presented at Milan’s La Scala in an extraordinary nod to the importance of this new American opera. One of The Consul’s highlights is Magda’s aria, “To This We’ve Come,” which became an anthem for oppressed people everywhere.