rs Nova School of the Arts presents “Voices of Terezín”, Friday and Saturday, April 11th a 7:30pm and April 12th at 2PM, at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church (1306 Cannstatt Drive). BRUNDIBAR, an opera performed by children in the Terezín concentration camp during the Holocaust will be presented, along with "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," a song cycle based on artwork and poems discovered at the camp. Terezín survivor Ela Weissberger, performed in Brundibar and will introduce the shows. Tickets are required.
Additionally, on Saturday, April 12th, from 6-9pm, a charity benefit reception with Ela Weissberger will be held at the Cochran Firm at 401 Madison Street, in Huntsville, AL. Tickets are required.
Tickets may be obtained by calling (256) 883-1105 or through the website http://www.arsnovahsv.com
BRUNDIBAR is a children's opera (original libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister) that was composed by Hans Kraása and was completed in 1938. It was performed fifty-five times by the children of the Terezín concentration camp, rarely by the same cast, as children were deported east. Kraása, also Jewish, was killed in Auschwitz in 1944. The opera will be sung in English, featuring Tony award winner Tony Kushner’s (Angels in America) translation.
“The story of BRUNDIBAR begins with a poor family in crisis. The father has died and now the mother has fallen sick. Her two children go to sing in the town square to raise money for the milk she must have to get well. Brundibar, the town bully, chases them away. But three hundred children and several talking animals come to their rescue. The townspeople then shower the two children with cash and they, along with a cop, a cat, dog and sparrow drive Brundibar, the bully, from the square. The children go home with the milk for their ailing mother.”
The Ars Nova production will be styled after the book and the opera produced by Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner.
I Never Saw Another Butterfly Charles Davidson's "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" Song Cycle for Soprano, is based upon the book of the same name that collected drawings and poems from children who lived in the Terezin Concentration Camp from 1942-1944. Christie Weber is the featured performer, and will be accompanied by an ensemble from Huntsville Community Children’s Chorus (HCCC) and Ars Nova singers prepared by Lea Hoppe, HCCC director.
Ela Stein Weissberger A very special guest will come to Huntsville from her home in Tappan, NY to support Ars Nova’s Voices of Terezin production. She was eleven years old in February of 1942 when she was sent to the Terezin concentration camp with other Czech Jews. By the time she was liberated in 1945, she was fifteen. Somehow during those horrendous three-and-a-half years of sickness, terror, separation from loved ones, and loss, Ela managed to grow up. She was chosen to play the pivotal role of the cat in BRUNDIBAR. At 83 years old, she still travels around the world to talk about her experiences. She will describe the tragedy and sorrow of the Holocaust but she is persistent in her belief that humans can triumph over evil. Alabama is very fortunate that she will be visiting Huntsville.
References: 1) http://www.pbs.org/now/arts/brundibar.html and 2) The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezin Hardcover by Susan Goldman Rubin (Author), Ela Weissberger (Author)