For grades 3-6 / 7-9
Available to stream FREE to your school now!
See Schools for more info.
“Brundibár” is a half-hour opera (performed in English), about children embracing the power of music and friendship. “Brundibár” originally received its premiere in German-occupied Prague at the Jewish Orphanage before the mass deportations of Czech Jews to Theresienstadt concentration camp began in 1942. There, composer Hans Krása reconstructed the music for the available instruments from a smuggled-in copy of the score, and it was performed 55 times in the camp – a source of hope and resistance to the prisoners – until the children, the composer, director and musicians were sent to Auschwitz following the final performance.
Despite the background of its creation, the opera itself is light-hearted and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce children and youth of all ages to the topic of the Holocaust and racial discrimination, and the need to work together to defeat oppression. The opera tells the story of children who sing in the marketplace to raise money for their sick mother, but are chased away by the organ player, Brundibár. With the help of animal and bird friends, as well as other children, they defeat Brundibár and continue to sing. All watching understood that Brundibár represented Hitler and were uplifted, even momentarily, by the fact that good could triumph over evil.
Directed by Tessa Mendel and conducted by Eszter Horvath with a cast of young performers from across HRM and an orchestra of local musicians including Scott Macmillan and members of Symphony Nova Scotia, this award-nominated production played at the Sir James Dunn Theatre at Dalhousie University in May of 2019. The digital program is a broadcast of the production, with subtitles, with an introduction by the director, who explains the context of the performance, and a short segment where the performers talk about what performing the show meant to them. All told, the video lasts about 45 minutes. We will also provide a study guide, with more detailed information about the show, the performers, and the context of the work.
This program is aimed at students in grades 3-8, and can be booked for any date and time that suits your school’s curriculum.
This program is booked through the PERFORM! program (http://performns.ca).
While schools booking a PERFORM program are traditionally asked to share in the cost, for 2021 ALL FEES will be paid by the PERFORM program (while funds last), so there is no cost to your school to book.