Forbidden Opera- October 2018

What are we thinking? Where are we heading?

Forbidden Opera Concert
As part of our Reclaimed Voices Series we will be taking our first look at the composers of opera that time has forgotten. After the Second World War, opera, like operetta, faced the daunting task of having to not only reinvent itself, but also to reclaim the music silenced by The Third Reich. The consequences of this systemic uprooting and eradication of Jewish composers, accompanied by the Nazi cultural branding of modernist music as “Degenerate (Entartete),” was widely felt both before and after the War. Our concert has largely inspired by Michael Haas’s book Forbidden Music The Jewish composers banned by the Nazis.

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For Jewish composers such as Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullman, Hans Krasa, Erwin Schulhoff and Pavel Haas, the War would extinguish their voices forever. The more fortunate ones (Ernst Toch, Hans Gál, Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, Arnold Schönberg, Egon Wellesz and Erich Korngold) would ply their craft in their newly adopted homelands. But composers who died before the War, and in many instances at the heights of their career, the post war years would represent the double indignation of not only being silenced by the Nazis but also having no one to champion their music after the war. Two classical composers Erich Korngold and Franz Schreker were victimized and frowned upon as remnants and reminders of a bygone era that the world wanted to forget. Their stories are one of many.

Our concert Forbidden Opera will feature their works along with the other opera composers deemed degenerate by the Nazis. This multi-media concert will include fives singers and a small chamber orchestra. October dates and venue to be announced.

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