CHICAGO FOLKS OPERETTA PRESENTS
Operetta in Exile
On September 8, 2013 at 2 PM we will present Operetta in Exile: Their words, their music, their story at the Goodman Auditorium in the Illinois Holocaust Museum. This special concert will feature five singers and a chamber ensemble.
Operetta, with its penchant for social satire and its disproportionate number of Jewish librettists, composers, and performers, was bound to have a troubled relationship with the Third Reich. In this haunting and poignant concert, we will examine the composers and librettists who were forced into exile or were persecuted and perished during the Third Reich. Many of these artists were mainstays of European theater for much of the early 20th Century. However, with the rise of the Nazi Party in the early 1930s, this once vibrant musical community was soon silenced. Over the last few years, we have seen a growing interest in the music of classical composers who died during the Holocaust, but the story of the operetta composers who suffered the same fate remains largely unknown even though they were at the forefront in popularity at the time of the Third Reich. In this concert, we will lift the veil of silence from these forgotten voices.
The idea for Operetta in Exile grew out of our research for the children’s operetta, Peter and Paul in the Land of Nod, by Franz Lehár. This whimsical and inventive show was created by Robert Bodanzky and Fritz Grünbaum in 1906. As we delved deeper into the lives of the two librettists, we learned that Grünbaum, a much beloved star of theater and cabaret, spent his final years in a German concentration camp where he subsequently perished. As we examined the lives of other librettists and composers of that era, we found that a vast majority of them were Jewish and had either been forced into exile or interred in concentration camps. It is their largely forgotten story that we will bring to light in this important concert.
Featuring the works of Paul Abraham, Emmerich Kálmán, Jean Gilbert, Fritz Löhner-Beda, Fritz Grünbaum, Alfred Grünwald, Leo Ascher. Robert Stolz, Leon Jessel, Julius Brammer, and Franz Lehár.
Performers include Erich Buchholz, Tenor; Gerald Frantzen, Tenor; Alison Kelly, Soprano; Chelsea Morris, Soprano; Ron Watkins, baritone; Anatoliy Torchinskiy, Pianist and a string quintet.
Operetta in Exile will take place on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 2 PM at the Goodman Auditorium in the Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077. Tickets are $30. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.chicagofolksoperetta.org. For more information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chicagofolksopertta.org . The show will feature songs in both English and German.
Chicago Folks Operetta is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit theater company devoted to the nurturing of live operetta through articulate and dynamic productions. In the belief that the arts serve to illuminate the human condition, we are dedicated to the revival and development of operetta, a popular and accessible form of music and theater for general audiences. In particular, the CFO concentrates on producing both Viennese and American operettas from the early 20th century.