Brundibar Pop-Up Opera
Live at San Jacinto Plaza
Brundibár is an opera written for children. No more
than forty minutes long, it was composed in 1938 by
Hans Krása, with lyrics by Adolf Hoffmeister, as an
entry for a children’s opera competition. It received
its premiere in German-occupied Prague and was
performed by children at the Jewish Orphanage in
Belgicka Street. Brundibár had one additional performance in the Hagibor building before the mass
transports of Bohemian and Moravian Jews to Terezín began in 1942. In July 1943, the score of Brundibár
was smuggled into camp, where it was re-orchestrated by Krása for the various instrumentalists who
were available to play at that time. The premiere of the Terezín version took place on 23 September
1943 in the hall of the Magdeburg barracks.
Realising the propagandistic potential of this enormously popular artistic endeavour, the Nazis arranged a special new staging of Brundibár for the propaganda film Theresienstadt - eine Dokumentarfilm aus den jüdische Siedlungsgebiet (directed by Kurt Gerron), and the same production was performed for the inspection of Terezín by the International Red Cross in September 1944. This would be the last of the fifty-five performances in the Terezín ghetto; two weeks later, transportation of artists to Auschwitz and other destinations East began, silencing the most popular theatrical production in Terezín.
Sunday June 21, 2020
SEARCHING THE PAINTED SKY
An original children’s opera by Martha Hill Duncan & Janet Windeler Ryan
Searching the Painted Sky is the story of two sisters, Leda, an older teenager, and Lulu, a young girl, who have lost their mother to illness and are now living in poverty with their father. Although their laid back dad loves his kids, he is not always the greatest at providing them necessities. After a run-in with an exotic fortune teller, Leda’s life takes a turn into fantasy, complete with strange, funny and fantastical characters.
Searching the Painted Sky was written for and premiered by The Youth Opera of El Paso at the 2014 National Opera Association Convention in New York City.