THE MENSCH is an in-progress grand opera about Sergeant Anton Schmid, an unsung hero from the Holocaust. Act I is set in Schmid's hometown of Vienna, Austria, where he runs an electrical shop. Act II takes place in Vilna, Lithuania, where he has been stationed after being drafted into the Wehrmacht. He uses his position and resources to save approxmiately 300 Jews of the Vilna ghetto, of course at great risk to himself.

This work is scored for numerous soloists and an opera chorus, including children. Lauren Bernofsky is both the composer and librettist. A piano-vocal score of Act 1 has been completed, and the finished opera will be scored for full orchestra. Two arias from Act I have been thus far premiered, and a workshop performance of Act I will be presented on September 6, 2023 at Auer Hall at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.


Here is Vienna State Opera tenor Angelo Pollak singing what will be the final aria from the opera.