The signature concert of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezín) during World War II who performed Verdi’s Requiem while experiencing the depths of human degradation.
With only a single smuggled score, they performed the celebrated oratorio 16 times, including one performance before senior SS officials from Berlin and an International Red Cross delegation. Conductor Rafael Schächter told the choir, “We will sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.”
Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín is a concert-drama that was conceived and created by Foundation President, Maestro Murry Sidlin. It combines the magnificent music of Verdi with video testimony from survivors of the original Terezín chorus and footage from the 1944 Nazi propaganda film about Theresienstadt.
The performance also includes actors who speak the words of imprisoned conductor Rafael Schächter and others.
Praised by The New York Times as "Poignant... a monument to the courage of one man to foster hope among prisoners with little other solace," Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín will be performed in Asheville, NC at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 7:30 pm.
Led by Maestro Murry Sidlin, president of The Defiant Requiem Foundation and creator of this powerful concert/drama, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín features the Asheville Symphony, Voices of Terezín Remembrance (a chorus comprised of singers from the Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Choral Society, and other community members), and soloists Jennifer Check (soprano), Ann McMahon-Quintero (mezzo-soprano), Bruce Sledge (tenor), and Jongmin Park (bass).
Special thanks to Gail Wein, a New York-based music journalist who has written for The Washington Post, Playbill and Symphony Magazine, and was producer of National Public Radio’s Performance Today.