als ob…Music and singing in the camp of Theresienstadt, after the novel by Charles Lewinsky
Music by I. Weber, V. Ullman, K. Svenk, K. Berman, E. Shulhoff, H. Kràsa, R. Dauber, L. Strauss. The pieces are sung in German, Czek, Yiddish, French, with surtitles. Spoken testimonies by L. Guenzler, E. Bauer, M. Manheimer, E. de Vries, Alice Sommer-Herz. Duration: 1.30 hrs without interval
'How to represent art in hell? Stephan Grögler has met this impossible challenge. The audience is struck, shattered, sometimes carried away. The violence is never displayed, it is just suggested,its imprint all the deeper' François Lilenfeld Ensuite Zeitschrift zu kultur und kunst
‘ They lived for nothing but music. It was their food. Had they not come to listen to us, they would have died long before ‘ says Alice Sommer-Herz, a survivor of the Terezin camp. Organized from 1941 on as a ‘model ghetto’ by the nazis, Terezin detained a great number of key figures of the European cultural life. Despite the appalling conditions of life in the camp, a high standard musical activity was organized, giving hope to the prisoners. The six characters of the show, like their models in Terezin, are composers, performers, instrumentalists and singers. The story tells us about their encounter inside the camp, their friendship and the solace they are seeking in the music.The repertoire, from classical music to jazz, echoes the emotional meandering of the prisoners from hope to renouncement, boldness to black humour, as is expressed in the song ‘als ob’ after which the production is named.
Stephan Grögler’s scenography places the audience in the centre of the stage, in a sphere delineated by hundreds of long metal sticks lit by led lamps.The spectators are at the very heart of the production, they are encouraged to live the experience from within, testing out a certain form of isolation.
A recording, devised by Séverine Lathuillière, made up by the voices of the witnesses together with sound effects, enhances the proximity even more vividly.
The stage organizationis a theatre accessory, an autonomous sculpture which requires no particularly specific equipment.
operAct is very happy to inform you that the production for the upcoming tour operAct teams up with « Violins of Hope»of Amnon Weinstein*. The collaboration makes it possible for the musicians to play the instruments of his collection. This can be combined with a conference about the extraordinary history or/and an exhibition of these instruments.
* Amnon Weinstein made it his noble mission to perpetuate the memory oft he deportees by means of the violins which he restores. Those instruments belonged to the victims or survivors of the Shoah bringing them back to life is exceptionally moving in concerts all over the world.
Around the performance operAct proposes various activities that can be added to the performance.
+ these programmes could include :
· Lecture by Charles Lewinsky (Gerron ist meines Wissens nicht auf englisch übersetzt)
· Showing of the propaganda film by Kurt Gerron
· Exhibition and lecture about « Violins of Hope »
· Pupils beeing involved in the presentation of the opera « Brundibar » from Theresienstadt
For further information see
· the pdf on the homepage of operact.eu
· VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/161952506
With: Gaëlle Méchaly soprano
I SOLISTI P. Plawner (violin), G. Vila (piano), L. Hasler (viola and violin), O. Theuler (cello), B. Szedlàk (bass)
Stage direction and scenography Stephan Grögler
Costumes Véronique Seymat
Setting Lukas Hasler
Sound effects and recordings Séverine Lathuillière (Naia Productions)
Créé à Bern (CH) Aula Progr le 12 Mars 2015- Bern Aula Progr 14.03 à 18H-Bern Aula Progr 15.03 à 15H- Bern Aula Progr 19.03 à 19H-Bern Aula Progr 21 et 22 Mars à 19H Chateau de Thun (CH) Festival Schlosskonzerte Thun 21 juin 2015 - 17:00 Chateau de Thun (CH) Festival Schlosskonzerte Thun 21 juin 2015 - 19:00 Chateau de Thun (CH) Festival Schlosskonzerte Thun 22 juin 2015 - 10.00 (scolaire) opéra d'Avignon 16 mars 2018 15H (scolaire) 20H30 tout public.
The Lady in Number 6 : Music Saved My Life