Hans Krása: Brundibar and Lori Laitman: Vedem (April 24-26, 2020)
Indianapolis Opera closes its season with the double bill of Brundibar and Vedem, presented at “The Toby” Theater at Newfields. Brundibar is a children’s opera, and will feature a children’s chorus made up of members from the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Written by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása and librettist Adolf Hoffmeister in 1938 in the ghettos of Prague, Brundibar is a parable of hope and justice. The opera was performed 55 times by the children of the Nazi concentration camp Terezin, under the direction of Jewish music teachers.
The story focuses on the struggle of children Annette and Little Joe to help their sick mother. To raise money, they decide to sing in the marketplace, but the evil organ grinder Brundibar chases them away. With the help of a dog, a cat, a sparrow, and many other children, they overcome the evil Brundibar and return home in victory.
Vedem is the first piece composed by a female composer to be performed with the company. Written by Lori Laitman, an American composer of Jewish heritage, Vedem is an oratorio that directly discusses events experienced at Terezin during the Holocaust.
This is the Indianapolis debut of Brundibar and Vedem, and also marks the first mainstage collaboration between Indianapolis Opera and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. These performances will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of many of the concentration camps across Europe, including Terezin.