NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A real-life story draw from 200 letter written during World War II have been given new voice in the jazz opera “Dear Erich,” performing this week in lower Manhattan.

Jazz composer and pianist Ted Rosenthal and New York City Opera general director Michael Capasso joined CBS2’s Cindy Hsu to talk about the opera’s premiere.

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The work is based on correspondences written in Germany between 1938 and 1941 by Rosenthal’s grandmother, Herta Rosenthal, and his father, Erich, a Jewish scholar who escaped to the United States.

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Set in wartime Germany and Chicago, the opera echoes the 1930s and 40s in retelling a family history of dual fates: a son’s journey to a life in the New World, and the cruel demise of his family at the hands of the Nazis.

“Dear Erich” plays four performances from Jan. 9 through Jan. 13 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage at 36 Battery Place, in lower Manhattan.

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For more about the production and for ticket information, see the website DearErich.com.