The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language




Jewish Music Week in Toronto Presents:



The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language


Alex Weiser, composer

Ben Kaplan, librettist


Performed Live: Friday, June 2, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET

Zoomer Hall, 70 Jefferson Ave.

Streamed on the radio at Classical 96.3 FM in Toronto, or online at


The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language is a new opera that follows linguist Yudel Mark’s quest to create the famous dictionary that never got past Alef. The musical selections will be performed by three of Toronto’s leading opera singers, and the composer and librettist will be narrating and sharing their story of how the opera was written.

Featuring: Inga Fillipova-Williams (soprano), Rob Kinar (tenor), Paul Winkelmans (baritone)


Alex Weiser creates music with broad gestures and rich textures that combines a deeply felt historical perspective with a vibrant forward-looking creativity. Weiser’s debut album, and all the days were purple, which includes songs in Yiddish and English, was named a 2020 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and cited as “a meditative and deeply spiritual work whose unexpected musical language is arresting and directly emotional.”


Librettist Ben Kaplan creates historically-informed dramatic works that chronicle turning points in history lost to contemporary cultural discourse. The Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language is Kaplan’s second collaboration with composer Alex Weiser following their opera, State of the Jews, based on the life of Theodor Herzl. He currently serves as Director of Education at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.