With the help of a fearless sparrow, clever cat, wise dog and the children of the town, Pepíček and Aninku are able to overcome Brundibár and sing in the market square.The playful score, performed by members of the Southbank Sinfonia and local musicians, leaps between Czech folk tunes, lively marches, polkas and waltzes. Polish bass Piotr Lempa plays the title role and is joined by a cast of young performers. Brundibár was written in 1938 by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása and was first publicly performed by the children of Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943. As the unlikely survival of this opera suggests, the joy and beauty expressed in music and art can outlast evil.
Performances of Hans Krasa's Brundibár are always in some degree heart-rending, but Mahogany Opera Group's production at the Purcell Room was particularly so... under the direction of Frederic Wake-Walker and with players of the Southbank Sinfonia conducted by Alice Farnham, the opera sprang vividly to life, and it wasn't difficult to see the faces of those hopeful kids in 1943 behind the figures of today's bright, multi-racial cast.
Brundibár emerges here as a beguiling score of alphabetical simplicity and melodic freshness that tugs at the heartstrings and sets feet tapping’
The Daily Telegraph
No praise is too high for the enthusiasm and commitment of the children as they threw themselves into their roles […] we were fully absorbed in their world
East Anglian Daily Times
28 June 2015
Norwich Playhouse, in partnership with Young Norfolk Arts Festival and Norfolk Music Service
18 & 19 April 2015
Watford Palace Theatre, in partnership with Watford Palace Theatre and Hertfordshire Music Service
27 & 28 February 2015
Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre, Workington, in partnership with Rosehill Theatre and National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
13 & 14 February 2015
Southbank Centre, London, in partnership with Pembroke Academy of Music, presented as part of the Imagine Children’s Festival
8 & 9 November 2014
Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall, in partnership with Jubilee Opera
Produced by Mahogany Opera Group in association with Jubilee Opera and Watford Palace Theatre.
Supported by Arts Council England, the Adnams Charity, Aldeburgh Town Council, the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, the East Suffolk Decorative and Fine Arts Society, the Foyle Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Garrick Charitable Trust, J Paul Getty Charitable Trust, the Kobler Trust, the Music Sales Charitable Trust, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the Vaulkhard Douglas-Home Music Trust, the Barbara Whatmore Trust, the Norman Scarfe Charitable Trust, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, John and Ann-Margaret Walton, Garth and Lucy Pollard and those who wish to remain anonymous.