As Europe faces a critical threat of war, a new focus has been placed on how refugees from the Ukraine will be assimilated.
An opera in one act, Sophia’s Forest relates the story of a young girl, Sophia, who has recently immigrated to the United States, having survived a traumatic journey through the chaos of a civil war in her homeland. During the course of the lyric drama, we see Sophia as an adult remembering her childhood, as a nine-year old recent immigrant to the U.S., and in flashback to a couple of years earlier, as a child escaping her homeland with her mother, Anna, and sister, Emma.
Sophia’s Forest is an exploration of both the lasting effects on families of the immigrant experience, and the ways in which children use their imaginations to deal with trauma. These themes are part of family lore for both librettist and composer: Moscovitch’s great-grandparents escaped a wave of Eastern European massacres to find their way to Canada while Beecher’s grandmother and then-two-year-old mother, escaped Estonia during WWII, having survived both Nazi and Soviet occupations of their country.