DSO WILL PRESENT DEFIANT REQUIEM—MULTIMEDIA CONCERTS HONORING PRISONERS WHO PERFORMED VERDI’S REQUIEM AT NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP—MAY 4, 6, AND 7
Murry Sidlin, creator of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, will conduct
Performances will take place in Orchestra Hall and Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield
Detroit – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will present a concert program featuring Verdi’s Requiem with a powerful historical and humanitarian element: Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín is a multimedia experience featuring a complete live performance of the Requiem that remembers and honors the prisoners of Terezín, a Nazi ghetto and concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia.
Along with two concerts at Orchestra Hall, The Defiant Requiem will come to Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield as part of the DSO’s William Davidson Neighborhood Series.
The performances will take place Thursday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Shaarey Zedek; Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall; and Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall.
The Sunday performance will be webcast for free via the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series, presented by the Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. DSO fans can view the webcasts anywhere, on any device, at dso.org/live.
In 1944, the prisoners performed the Requiem for Nazi officers and members of the International Red Cross. Verdi’s work, originally a Catholic Mass for the dead, took on new meaning when directed at the Nazi oppressors: “nothing shall remain unavenged,” the prisoners sang. “…from the ashes, the guilty man to be judged…”
The concerts will be conducted by Murry Sidlin, the creator, president, and artistic director of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, which presents concerts and other events, offers programs for Holocaust education, hosts survivor stories on its website, and produced a 2012 documentary film about Terezín.
“Let the Verdi Requiem sing as something other, more deeply, more profoundly than the great composition that it is,” said Sidlin in a recent Chicago Tribune interview. “It’s the great composition that served to inject blood and spirit and breath into people who were being deprived of life’s values and living.”
Sidlin will lead the DSO, the Detroit Community Chorus, and soloists Jennifer Check (soprano), Ann McMahon Quintero (mezzo soprano), Issachah Savage (tenor), and Nathan Stark (bass) in performances of the complete score, interspersed with historic film footage and recitations by actors.
In addition to the concert performances, several related Defiant Requiem events are scheduled throughout Metro Detroit, including a lecture series, a discussion with conductor Murry Sidlin, a screening of the Defiant Requiem documentary, and an art exhibit.
The Defiant Requiem performances and events are made possible with the support of Joanne Danto and Arnold Weingarden, Jane and Larry Sherman, the Marvin and Betty Danto Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Blumenstein, the Marjorie and Maxwell Jospey Foundation, Ralph and Erica Gerson, Dorothy Gerson, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wm. Fisher, Mr. Richard A. Sonenklar and Mr. Gregory Haynes, and Mr. and Mrs. Ethan Davidson. The DSO also extends heartfelt thanks to the Defiant Requiem Honorary Committee, chaired by Joanne Danto.