The Seekers of Light


The Seekers of Light Poster

Program Note

Composer Matti Kovler brings together a group of Iranian and Israeli musicians to premiere excerpts from his opera-in-progress as part of MFA’s 2014 Hanukkah’ celebrations.

A sequel to Kovler’s “Here Comes Messsiah” commissioned by Carnegie Hall in 2009, the opera deals with the rise and the fall of the mystical Jewish messiah of the 17th century, Shabtai Zvi, and is inspired by sketches of the Prague-based visual artist Theodor Tezhik (Cirque Du Soleil, Brian Eno). Tezhik’s drawings will be projected on the walls at MFA’s Shapiro Wing, with special lighting by the Boston-based John Powell.

The musical ensemble is comprised of 14 musicians, all singing and playing classical and Persian instruments (soloists: Parham Haghighi (Iran) and Tutti Druyan (Israel). Costumes by Laura Mandel.

The preview is designed as a continuous musical happening throughout the Shapiro Courtyard, in 3 segments from 6:15PM until 9PM (the audience is invited to wander in and out)

Tableau I: Geula

Tableau II: Fever

Tableau III: Gloria

Tableau IV: The Soul’s Descent

Tableau V: Premonitions

Tableau VI: Sacrifices

Tableau VII: Wonder

Team & Cast

Music by Matti Kovler

Drawings by Theodor Tezhik

Libretto by Matti Kovler based on texts from the Mishna, Ferdowsi, and selections from contemporary Israeli poetry by Ilan Scheinfeld, Yehuda Amichai and Rachel


Shabtai’s Soul: Parham Haghighi

Sarah: Tutti Druyan

Shabtai the boy: Matthew Shifrin

Sarah’s Soul: Shir Zehavi / Amanda Romano

Nathan: Matti Kovler

Nathan’s Soul (Snake): Chris Baum

Messenger: Brian Calhoon

Ha-Rav Kook: Gilad Barakan

Earth: Adrienne Arditti

Leviathan: Alex Conrad

Behemoth: Yakov Israel


Pouya Shabanpour (daf, dareyhe)
Brian Calhoon (vibraphone)
Maryam Foulady (tar)
Amanda Romano (harp)
Shir Zehavi (flute)
Matti Kovler (piano)
Chris Baum (violin)
Nori Jacoby (viola)