Preview: Brundibár Arts Festival @ Various Venues | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Launched in 2016, Brundibár Arts Festival is the first annual festival in the UK dedicated to music and arts of the Holocaust and aims to document the astonishing achievements of artists under adversity so their stories can survive.

Around Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January), Brundibár Arts Festival is set to return and will be focused on the inspirational women who lost their lives in the Holocaust. Events will be taking place across Newcastle, Gateshead and beyond from 22nd January to 10th February.

The opening concert, The White Rose (taking place on 22 January at Jesmond United Reformed Church), is dedicated to Sophie Scholl, an anti-Nazi activist who was executed at the age of just 21 after distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich, where she was a student.

The closing concert (taking place on 2nd February at Kings Hall, Newcastle University) will be dedicated to Alma Rose, a brilliantly talented violinist (and Gustav Mahler’s niece), who conducted the women’s orchestra in Auschwitz. Herhard work and dedication helped to ensure the survival of those around her, however Alma herself sadly did not survive.

Other highlights of this year’s festival include The Cobweb Orchestra, who will be heading to Jesmond United Reformed Church on 23rd January to perform music by Rosy Wertheim, Antonin Dvořák and Jan Václav Voříšek. The other stand out event is Brundibár the Opera, produced in collaboration with the Opera North Youth Company and Royal Northern Sinfonia. This iconic opera, composed by Hans Krása, was first performed by children in Theresienstadt concentration camp and then a further 55 times after that before the cast, musicians and composer were all transported to Auschwitz and killed.

Festival Founder and Artistic Director Alexandra Raikhlina adds… 

“This coming Festival has been a long time coming. After many postponements, we can’t believe it is finally happening! Bringing Brundibár the Opera to Newcastle is our biggest project to date; it is going to be a historic moment of exceptional quality with top collaborations between Opera North and Royal Northern Sinfonia – we just can’t wait to share it with audiences.” 

For tickets and further information, visit Brundibár Arts Festival.

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