SEMMELWEIS is a new 75-minute music-theater work inspired by the tragic story of nineteenth-century Hungarian obstetrician Ignác Semmelweis (1818-1865), who discovered the cure for a devastating epidemic but could not convince the world of the simple solution, and died alone in an asylum. Semmelweis had been the first to see an unthinkable truth: that the deadly disease was passing from the bodies of the dead to healthy mothers on the unwashed hands of the doctors themselves.
SEMMELWEIS explores how everything we think we know can be overturned violently, exploring what it's like to be the first to see into a terrible blind spot and perceive a truth too awful to believe. As an outsider—a foreign doctor, living and working in Vienna’s top hospital in a xenophobic era—he fears that no one heard, that the answer may die with him. What is it to hold an earth-shattering insight, and yet be haunted by all the mothers that might not be saved?
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