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Blog posts by Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is a longtime employee of Bauman Rare Books, an accomplished poet, and the author of the libretto for a new opera, The Book Collector.


Friday, May 20th will see the premiere of my new opera with composer Stella Sung, a “rare book” opera, if you will, called The Book Collector, in which two men vie for possession of an exceedingly rare book. Why a rare book opera, you may ask? In truth, the opera is driven by the forces that have defined opera since its earliest days: jealousy and love, vengeance and mercy, the clash of social classes, free will bound by fate, and tragic, sometimes deadly misunderstandings. The auction floor, the bookseller's shop, the private library, and the book itself really serve as settings and props for the larger human ambitions that animate the characters. The “rare book” aspect of the opera was Stella's. She's long been fascinated by my day job at Bauman Rare Books. In fact, the first time we met in person was at the Florida Antiquarian ... [more]