Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre

Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish music and theatre is the fourth of five international performance festivals, sponsored by Performing the Jewish Archive, a British Arts & Humanities Research Council project. The Festival brings new life to rediscovered music and theatrical works by Jewish refugee artists. Sydney performances will take place at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Seymour Centre, featuring some of Australia’s best musicians including the Goldner String Quartet, Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows, Philharmonia Choirs VOX Choir, Sydney Children’s Choir and others.

Artistic Curator for the Festival, Dr Joseph Toltz says that “even during the catastrophes of the 20th century, during the darkest moments of oppression, people sought solace or distraction in culture. In the aftermath of war and genocide, refugees who sought safe haven were accompanied by cultural expressions of exile, diaspora and flight. As lives were rebuilt in new lands, these cultural objects were stored in archives, hidden in attics, or bequeathed to family members. Many of these objects lay forgotten, waiting to reawaken in performance. Our festival focuses on objects created by Jewish artists in these circumstances.”

Read more:

Sydney Morning Herald – 2 August

The Conversation31 July

Australian Jewish News – 25 July

Limelight ReviewSeven Deadly Sins6 August

Limelight ReviewPrince Bettliegend11 August

OUT OF THE SHADOWS – FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Saturday 5 August
Out of the Shadows Opening Night Gala: The Seven Deadly Sins, Dance and Orchestral Works from Jewish Refugees in Exile

7.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Tickets from $40-50

Sunday 6 August
Red-Riding-Hood: A Children’s Opera
12pm, Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
All tickets $25

Sunday 6 August
Red-Riding-Hood: A Children’s Opera

3pm, Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
All tickets $25

Monday 7 August
Lunchbreak Concert 1: The Power of Two – Piano and Violin Duos from Jewish Composers
12.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Free

Monday 7 August
Prince Bettliegend: A Cabaret from Terezín
7.30pm, Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre
Tickets from $25-30

Tuesday 8 August
Lunchbreak Concert 2: The Power of Song – Music for Voice, Clarinet and Piano from Jewish Refugees
12.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Free

Tuesday 8 August
At the Edge of the World: Jewish Choral Music from Australia, South Africa and Finland
7.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Tickets from $15-25

Tuesday 8 August
Prince Bettliegend: A Cabaret from Terezín
7.30pm, Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre
Tickets from $25-30

Wednesday 9 August
Lunchbreak Concert 3: The Power of Breath – Wind and Percussion Music from Jewish Composers
12.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Free

Wednesday 9 August
Keynote Lecture 1: Singing and Laughing Against Fascism
Sponsored by the University of Sydney Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Languages and Cultures
5pm, Quad History Room S223, Quadrangle Building, The University of Sydney
Free

Wednesday 9 August
The Merchant of Helsinki: a Yiddish cabaret from Finland – SOLD OUT
7.30pm, Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre
Tickets from $25-30

Thursday 10 August
Lunchbreak Concert 4: The Power of Three – String Trios from Jewish Composers
12.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Free

Thursday 10 August
Keynote Lecture 2: Testimony, Facticity, and Musical Truth-Telling
(Alfred Hook Lecture)
5.30pm, Recital Hall East, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Free

Thursday 10 August
Prince Bettliegend: A Cabaret from Terezín
7.30pm, Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre
Tickets from $25-30

Saturday 12 August
Out of the Shadows Closing Finale Concert: Vignettes and Masterpieces – Jewish Composers and the String Quartet
7.30pm, Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Tickets from $25-40

Out of the Shadows opens with a gala performance of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s The Seven Deadly Sins, directed by Chryssy Tintner who is the daughter of the late Austrian composer, conductor and refugee Georg Tintner; and dance and orchestral music written by Jewish refugee composers in Australia.

Two cabarets will be presented at the Seymour Centre, featuring biting, witty social commentary accompanied by a full jazz band playing hot tunes of the 1920s and 1930s. Prince Bettliegend, a satirical fairy tale, was written by prisoners in the Terezín Ghetto. The Merchants of Helsinki was penned in Finland during the Great Depression.

Red-Riding-Hood, the witty children’s opera based on the famous tale that was written in 1938 by Austrian-Jewish refugee and composer Wilhelm Grosz in London, will be presented by the Sydney Children’s Choir accompanied by the SSO Fellows, with catchy tunes and a camp joyous sensibility appealing to all ages.

A collection of sacred and secular Jewish choral works will be sung by three young, premier Australian choirs: VOX Ensemble, Luminescence Chamber Singers and the Conservatorium’s Chamber Choir.

Six free events are part of the festivities: four lunchbreak chamber music concerts in Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and two keynote lectures by outstanding international academics Dr Brigid Cohen and Dr Anna Shternshis.

Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish music and theatre takes place at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Seymour Centre, 5 to 13 August 2017.

Joseph Toltz writes: “We live in a new era of mass displacement and refuge, where millions of people are clamouring to escape threats and find freedom and safety. Compassion itself appears to be retreating from our common discourse. In such times, it is good to remind ourselves that back in the 1930s and 40s, hope flickered among the oppressed and unjustly detained, and that is something that is worthy of reconsideration. I invite you to come celebrate the resilience and creativity of those artists, as Out of the Shadows appears for one time only in Sydney, Australia.”