from the opera Sima
after "The Krasovitsky Couple"
by David Iakovlevich Aizman (1869-1922),
story translated from the Russian
by Edgar H. Lehrman (1926-1986),
music by Leonard Lehrman, op. 40
See production photos of the premiere at
performed by Soprano & Piano: Elizabeth Parcells & composer, Augsburg 7/21/80
[posted on line at http://www.elizabethparcells.com/Music.htm#Lehrman]
I'm only 23, but I always dreamed of returning home,
returning to my own sorrows, and to my own blood relations,
ever since I found myself forced to leave, to study in a strange land.
I always dreamed that with the knowledge I would gain,
I could always come back to struggle with the hardships of my people,
to dress the wounds of their lives full of suffering.
Then, the days of horrors came, and the blood overflowed.
All my relatives, all my friends, all the joy of my existence
seemed destroyed, except for this:
I am now the mother of 113 children.
Their parents, their brothers, their sisters all were killed,
and I am all they have.
Lyuba Borisovna is the name given by the composer in the opera
to the orphanage supervisor, depicted but unnamed in Aizman's story.
The name was chosen, both because it means love,
and because it is that of the composer's second cousin,
Lyuba Borisovna Glukhovskaya, whom he visited in Leningrad in 1971,
and who is believed to have emigrated with her family since then to Israel,
present whereabouts unknown.