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"defiant requiem" at UNM

On May 8, the Department of Music presented a stirring performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin in Popejoy Hall.  The concert drama and the documentary film, Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance, are the brainchild of conductor Murry Sidlin, who was invited to UNM as guest conductor for the performance.  Organized by Bradley Ellingboe, Director of Choral Activities, the production involved the UNM Symphony Orchestra and 200 singers from UNM's various choral ensembles.  Soloists were UNM's Leslie Umphrey, soprano, and guests Sarah Ihlefeld, mezzo-soprano, Issachah Savage, tenor, and Nathan Stark, bass.  
Defiant Requiem poster

Terezin was a Nazi concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic, and among the prisoners was the Czech choral conductor Rafael Schächter.  Schächter had brought with him a score of Verdi's Requiem, and he taught the work to his fellow prisoners so that they could perform it for their captors.  Sidlin's creation includes a full performance of the original Requiem, as well as actors, narration and film to tell the story of the prisoners at Terezín.

In conjunction with the Requiem, the UNM Children's Chorus gave several performances of Brundibar, a children's opera that was written in 1938 and brought to Terezin by the composer, Hans Krása, when he was imprisoned there.  The opera was performed by the concentration camp children more than 50 times. 

Spring 2014 john donald robb composers' Symposium


Last updated on Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:35 PM

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