Baltimore Sun shines on upcoming “Lost Childhood” concert

November 6, 2013
TelAviv_Moran Abouloff, Guy Mannheim

Performers from AOP’s production of Lost Childhood in Tel Aviv, Israel (2009)

Commissioned and developed by AOPLost Childhood will be performed in concert at Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, MD on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 8:00 PM. In his profile of the opera for The Baltimore Sun, Fine Arts critic Tim Smith marks the development of the opera from its historical inspiration to is upcoming concert for the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht (“The Night of Broken Glass”), on November 9-10, 1938, when a series of violent anti-Jewish pogroms occurred throughout Germany and elsewhere.

“… The opera focuses on a Jewish psychiatrist who eluded death as a boy in Poland during the war, and a German colleague born into a family with Nazi sympathies.

“It deals with post-Holocaust revenge, silence and denial, feelings that survivors on both sides, Jews and Germans, felt,” Hamer said. “And it raises questions of forgiveness. It’s a moral topic that is still relevant.”

The opera has been a long time in the making. Azrael and Hamer started on it around 1996. Various workshops were held over the years to develop the piece, most prominently through the organization that commissioned it, American Opera Projects in New York, as well as at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv.

The opera is in two acts with music by Janice Hamer and a libretto by Mary Azrael, and taken from the memoir of the same name by Holocaust survivor Yehuda Nir and Nir’s conversations with Gottfried Wagner (Wagner’s great-grandson).

READ THE FULL BALTIMORE SUN ARTICLE


Yehuda Nir’s “Lost Childhood” commemorated on his 80th Birthday

May 6, 2010

Lost Childhood book cover

Yehuda Nir as a boy on the cover of his memoir "The Lost Childhood"

Dr. Yehuda Nir, Holocaust survivor and author of the memoir “The Lost Childhood”, celebrated his 80th birthday last week amongst a crowd of friends and family.  Nir’s tragic childhood remembrance inspired librettist Mary Azrael and composer Janice Hamer to create the operatic version of “Lost Childhood”– a riveting full-length performance based on Yehuda Nir’s plight, and conversations with Gottfried Wagner (great-grandson of Richard Wagner).  American Opera Projects commissioned the opera in 2001, and has nurtured its development throughout the following years.  AOP presented a staged workshop of the opera for the first time  on July 29,2007, to rave reviews.

Selections of “The Lost Childhood” were performed in honor of Yehuda’s 80th birthday at The Box on Chrystie Street.  Nearly one hundred of Yehuda Nir’s admirers and close friends were said to be in attendance.  AOP for its own part, delighted at participating in the celebrations and sharing of a great operatic work.

Read the full Huffington Post article here.


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