NFM Orkiestra Leopoldium / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
NFM Orkiestra Leopoldium / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Leo Festival
Stories for Children
04.06.2023
Sun.
5:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Programme:

P. Hindemith Wir bauen eine Stadt – children's opera
H. Krása Overture for small orchestra, Brundibar – children's opera (Prague version)

Performers:

Ernst Kovacic – conductor
Soloist children TBC
NFM Boys' Choir
NFM Girls' Choir
Małgorzata Podzielny – artistic direction of NFM Boys' Choir and NFM Girls' Choir 
NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Maciej Ćwieluch – stage direction

Venue:
NFM, Main Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 20 to 65 zł

During the concert ending this year’s LEO Festival, the musicians will perform two children’s operas by Paul Hindemith – one of the most charismatic artists of the twentieth century – and Hans Krása, a Czech composer of Jewish origin. These compositions are worth attention, inviting the youngest into the world of contemporary music.

In Paul Hindemith’s professional life, apart from composition, theory of music and conducting, an important place was also occupied by activities of cultural animation. Immediately after moving to Berlin, where he taught at the local Hochschule für Musik, Hindemith got involved in the cultural life of Germany. In 1930, he published a “game” in the form of an opera dedicated to children – Wir bauen eine Stadt (We build a city). In a fanciful way, it tells the story of an imaginary city built and ruled only by children. The work is part of the promotion of the amateur movement in music – it was intended not for professional musicians, but for anyone who would like to delve into the world of fantasy. Concise and simple in expression, the work interweaves numerous songs sung a cappella, dialogues and instrumental parts with parts of the choir and orchestra.

Brundibar, an opera by Hans Krása, although also intended for children, is associated with a depressing story. It was written to words by Adolf Hoffmeister in 1938, but it had its premiere only in September 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp established in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. It is, in fact, a beautiful story about the fight between good and evil – the story of siblings who want to collect money for milk for their sick mother by singing together. On their way stands the vengeful barrel-organ player Brundibar, whose aim is to get rid of the competition. Unfortunately, the Nazi authorities quickly recognized the propaganda potential of staging the opera in the camp. It was supposed to prove that normal life was going on there and that the Germans did not commit any crimes against the Jewish population. The work was performed dozens of times, and finally recorded in the propaganda film Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt (Hitler gives the Jews a city) prepared for the Red Cross. Krása was murdered on 17 October 1944 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was transported together with other composers: Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas, and Gideon Klein.

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