Posted on May 31, 2022 at 12:04 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

An unlikely opera premieres this weekend.

It's based on the 1973 book Awakenings, a firsthand account of how neurologist Oliver Sacks treated a group of patients long immobilized by encephalitis lethargica (otherwise known as "sleeping sickness").

The New York Times spoke with composer Tobias Picker and his husband, Aryeh Lev Stollman (who's also an author and doctor), about why and how they turned Awakenings into an opera.

Awakenings premieres June 5 at the Opera Theater of St. Louis.

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