Pacific Symphony to perform “Defiant Requiem,” about Verdi’s Requiem performances at Terezin concentration camp

Posted on: April 15, 2019

“Among the estimated 140,000 Jews who passed through the Nazi ghetto and concentration camp in the Czech town of Terezin was conductor and composer Rafael Schachter, founder of the Prague Chamber Opera,” writes Susan King in Wednesday’s (4/10) Los Angeles Times. “He smuggled in one copy of Verdi’s Requiem [and] taught it to a chorus of 150 … at Terezin…. Schachter’s singers … went on to perform Verdi’s Requiem 16 times. The chorus shrank over the years, as members were sent to death camps…. Conductor Murry Sidlin [is] creator of the concert ‘Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin.’ The program combines a choral performance of Verdi’s Requiem with video testimony from surviving members of the Terezin chorus, clips from a rare propaganda film shot by Germans in Terezin and a live performer portraying Schachter. ‘Defiant Requiem’ has its Los Angeles and Orange County premieres [April 16 and 17] with Sidlin conducting the Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale…. Paul Nussbaum, president of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust [said] with the rise of hate crimes against Jews and Muslims … ‘there’s an imperative for all of us to do a better job educating about the Holocaust.’ ”

Posted April 15, 2019