Brundibár the Opera

Brundibár the Opera

Sunday, 30 January 2022, 6.00pm

Brundibár Arts Festival presents Brundibár The Opera, in collaboration with Opera North Youth Company and Royal Northern Sinfonia.


Hans Krása - Tanec (string trio)
Hans Krása - Passacaglia & Fuge (string trio)


“Brundibár” the Opera performance in collaboration with Opera North Youth Company and Royal Northern Sinfonia


Brundibár was originally written by Hans Krása (libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister) in 1938 as an entry for a children’s opera competition sponsored by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Education.

Before a winner could be announced, the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. However, rehearsals for the opera began in July 1939 at the Jewish-Zionist orphanage, Hagibor near Prague. Before he could hear the work performed, Krása was arrested and eventually deported to Theresienstadt (Terezin in Czech).

In July 1943, the score of Brundibár was smuggled into the camp by Rudi Freudenfeld. A new orchestral arrangement was written by Krása reflecting the instruments available in the camp: flute/piccolo, clarinet, trumpet, guitar, side drum and bass drum, piano, four violins, cello, double bass and accordion.

Altogether, the Terezin version of the opera was performed fifty-five times. The last performance, put on for the camp’s inspection by the International Red Cross, was in September 1944. For this, the production was moved to the large Sokol Hall outside the camp. Stage Designer, František Zelenka was given everything he needed to improve the set and costumes. The final scene was captured for the Nazi propaganda film “Theresienstadt – eine Dokumentarfilm aus den jüdische Siedlungsgebiet”.

Immediately after, the cast, musicians and composer were all transported to Auschwitz where they were murdered.

Brundibár Arts Festival was named after this iconic Opera in honour of all those who suffered and perished. Join us in keeping their memory alive through music.


Nicholas Shaw - Conductor
PJ Harris - Director
Anna Yates - Designer
Jim Manganello - Choreographer
Sabrina Buck - Stage Manager
Emma Jones - Lighting Designer
Kate Egan - Costume Assistant
Marie Claire Breen - Vocal Coach
Elizabeth Jones - Accompanist
Miloš Milivojević - Accordion


Kyra Humphreys - Violin
Alexandra Raikhlina - Violin
Eva Aronian - Violin
Sophie Appleton - Violin
James Slater - Viola
Daniel Hammersley - Cello
Philip Nelson - Double bass
Helena Gourd - Flute
Cristina Mateo - Clarinet
Richard Martin - Trumpet
Jude Carlton - Percussion

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