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Remembering the holocaust

MIDLAND – A holocaust remembrance concert celebrating hope and faith in the midst of one of  the cruelest chapters of the 20th century takes place April 6 at 8 p.m. and April 7 at 3 p.m. at  Midland Center for the Arts.

The Center Stage Choirs will present “A Celebration of Hope,” featuring the Chorale with soloists, cellist Jamie Fiste from CMU, and pianist Jan Sutherland, performing David McCullough’s “Holocaust Cantata,” followed by a choir of local youth performing a fully staged version of the Czechoslovakian children’s opera “Brundibár,” with libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner. The “Holocaust Cantata” premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1998, and features readings and songs written by concentration camp inmates.

The performers will stay after the concert for an informational talkback with audience members. The production is directed by James Hohmeyer, Cheryl Levy and Larry Levy. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling the MCFTA Ticket Office at (800) 523-7649 or at  mcfta.org.

The Czechoslovakian children’s opera “Brundibár” premiered in the concentration camp at Terezin in September 1943, with 54 additional performances the following year. It tells the story of a  brother and sister searching for milk to nourish their ailing mother. Brundibár was used for the  Nazi propaganda film “The Führer Gives the Jews a City,” after which all the participants, including the composer, were sent to Auschwitz where most were gassed upon arrival. “Brundibár” has become a symbol of the struggle to sustain artistic culture in the face of imminent peril.


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