Event Detail

The Strangers - Talk & Opera

Dear members and friends of the AmerikaHaus NRW e.V.,
We cordially invite you to a special evening at the Cologne Opera, which will feature a behind-the-scenes discussion with American composer Frank Pesci followed by a performance of:

»The Strangers«
Friday, October 6, 2023
6.30-7.15 p.m. - Exclusive talk with composer Frank Pesci
7.30-9.10 p.m. - Opera show
Oper Köln im StaatenHaus, Saal 3 | Rheinparkweg 1 | 50679 Köln - Deutz

»The Strangers« revolves around true events in the Sicilian immigrant milieu of New Orleans in the 1890s. The city on the Mississippi has developed into a prosperous trading metropolis. Many Sicilian immigrants have arrived here with high hopes of finding liberty and justice in the New World. But there is a gang war going on in the city. At the center of it: Police Chief David Hennessy. On October 15, 1890, Hennessy is shot dead in the street by unknown assailants. Suspicion falls on Sicilian immigrants—many men are arrested, but most are soon acquitted for lack of evidence. Outraged, the city leaders rally the populace. A frenzied mob storms the prison and lynches the acquitted men still held inside.

The opera's plot centers on a young couple, Iania and Emmanuele. They came to New Orleans with high hopes, but soon find themselves caught up in the Hennessy trial, confronted by xenophobia and vigilantism while navigating a maze of authorities. In the process, they struggle for identity, self-assertion, and their future. »The Strangers« is a contemporary, emotional, and powerful opera that touches on the social issues of our time. It celebrates its world premiere at the Cologne Opera in the 2023/2024 season.

Frank Pesci, born in the United States in 1974, is a composer based in Cologne. His œuvre comprises over 100 works for the concert stage, including choral motets, song cycles, chamber and concert scores, as well as five operas. British conductor Harry Ogg will take the baton, and Maria Lamont from Canada will direct; both will make their debut at the Cologne Opera.


Guests of the AmerikaHaus NRW can book discounted tickets for the evening of October 6 only! The reduced ticket price is 45 EUR (25 EUR for students) and includes one free drink per person.

Please register by September 29 via e-mail to info@amerikahaus-nrw.de. You will then receive further information regarding the payment modalities. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

We look forward to welcoming you to this special evening!

Many thanks to the Cologne Opera for the collaboration.