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Shanghai Angel: Creating a Show About My Immigrant Grandmother

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94115 (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

With $2.50 in her pocket, Rosa Ginsberg left her family behind in Shanghai, China, in 1940 for an uncertain future in the United States. The 18-year-old native of Vienna landed at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, site of a U.S. immigration station that processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from 1910 through 1940. She left Angel Island for the mainland on the basis of a mostly true story. She married, raised two children, and brought four members of her family to the United States.

Vocalist Heather Klein has created a one-woman musical about her grandmother Rosa, Shanghai Angel, that will premiere at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco on February 23. In her Library presentation, Klein will sing selections from the show, accompanied by Josh Horowitz, and discuss her research into her grandmother’s story, as well as the creative process behind the songs and narrative.

Heather Klein is a classically trained soprano who performs opera, Yiddish classical song, cantorial, theater and folk music, as well as other styles. For the past decade, she has performed across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She has released two Yiddish musical albums, including, most recently, Shifrele’s Portret: A Yiddish Art Song Project with her Inextinguishable Trio. After living and performing in the Bay Area, she now serves as cantorial soloist at Temple Sinai of Las Vegas.

Co-presented by the Angel Island Conservancy, KlezCalifornia, and the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring of Northern California.