Michael Hendrick (as Judah), tenor
Christopher Trakas (as Manfred), baritone
Piotr Gajewski, conductor
Music by Janice Hamer
Libretto by Mary Azrael
The year is 1939 in Lvov, Poland. In the living room of a well-to-do Jewish family, Julek, 9, and his teenage sister dance the tango to music from the radio. Their father enters and turns to the BBC broadcast to hear news of impending war. Fast-forward to 1993, an elegant bar in a Manhattan hotel, where Judah, a psychiatrist (formerly the child Julek), sits across from his German colleague, Manfred, born after the war to a prominent family of Nazi sympathizers.
In a gripping confrontation between a post-war German and a Jewish Holocaust survivor, each deeply troubled by his own lost childhood, the past comes alive in the present. Through a series of flashbacks, Manfred, tormented, faces his family’s dark past, while Judah reveals for the first time, with bravado and humor, anger and grief, how he, his mother and sister outwitted the Third Reich. With searing emotion and heartwarming lyricism, the music recollects the terrors of the Holocaust and inspires a hopeful vision of the future.
Judah is based on Yehuda Nir, a psychiatrist and the author of the memoir The Lost Childhood. The inspiration for Manfred is Nir’s friend Gottfried Wagner, a great- grandson of Richard Wagner and a specialist in post-Holocaust dialogue between victims, perpetrators and their descendants.
This performance marks 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.
A free pre-concert lecture will be offered in the Concert Hall at 6:45PM.
Kids age 7-17 are free. Please call the Strathmore Ticket Office directly at (301) 581-5100 to purchase Kids free tickets. Kids free tickets are not available for online purchase.
Single tickets starting at $28.