Indianapolis Opera to present Vedem with Brundibar in April 2020

UPDATE: This production will be postponed to spring 2021, due to the Coronavirus. Indianapolis Opera will present a semi-staged version of my Holocaust-themed oratorio Vedem in a double bill with Hans Krasa’s Brundibar from April 24-26, 2020. Vedem tells the story of the boys imprisoned in the infamous Terezin Concentration Camp during WWII, and their secret magazine entitled Vedem (Czech for “in the Lead”). All 800 pages of the magazine were buried by the last remaining child at Terezin — Sidney Taussig —  who retrieved the papers after the war. This treasure trove gives us an unvarnished glimpse into the daily lives of the boys. My long-time collaborator, poet David Mason, wrote the libretto and entwined six of the original Vedem poems within. The work is scored for boychoir, tenor and mezzo-soprano soloists, accompanied by an instrumental quartet comprised of clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

This production marks several firsts for Indianapolis Opera: Vedem is the first piece by a woman composer to be performed by their company, and the production marks the first mainstage collaboration between the opera company and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

The oratorio was commissioned by Mina Miller and Music of Remembrance and premiered in May 2010. Four of the then-six survivors traveled to Seattle for the premiere. Naxos released the CD in May 2011, and Fanfare Magazine wrote: “A most touching experience, and one that further confirms Laitman’s status as one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers.”

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