"The Diary of Anne Frank"
Composer - Grigory Frid
Libretto by composer
Literary basis of the libretto – the genuine text of the diary of Anne Frank,translated from Dutch into Russian by Rita Rait-Kovaleva
Sung in Russian
In brief scenes (“Birthday”, “School”, “Conversation with Father”, “Summons to the Gestapo”, “The Hiding place” and “Razzia”) unfolds the depiction of the fate of the 13-year-old Anne Frank, who hides with her family in the back part of a house in Amsterdam from July 1942 until her arrest in August 1944. Anne’s diary entries from this time show the emotional pressure borne by the child, but also that her moral power and unbending will to live cannot be broken by this pressure.
Anne’s profound thoughts, her naive joy over a gift or a patch of blue sky, but also her fear and will to remain courageous, the budding love for Peter, her sense of situation comedy, hope for freedom and more humanity – all this also finds oppressive expression in the music. The libretto, almost literally taken from the original, is integrated into a musical-lyrical narrative the emotional content of which shows both the tragedy of the events and the girl’s poetic expressive power. Special attention is devoted to the characters who appear in Anne’s monologues but not in person: her father, her sister Margot and friends. Through these there results a special multi-dimensional quality which expands the scope of the monodrama’s plot.
"Weiße Rose (White Rose)"
Composer - Udo Zimmermann
Libretto by Ingo Zimmermann
Sung in German
“We will not remain silent, we are your bad conscience, the White Rose will not leave you in peace…” These are the closing words of the fourth manifesto of the anti-nazi student group named “The White Rose” (Die Weisse Rose), formed at the University of Munich. This particular manifesto was the cause for the arrest of the group’s leaders, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie. After a long-hour interrogation by Gestapo, the siblings were executed by guillotine on 22 February 1943.
This is the historical framework surrounding Udo Zimmermann’s opera Die Weisse Rose, whose first version was written in 1967. However, the composer reworked his material in 1986. In the new version, titled Weisse Rose, the action is no longer linear, and the characters are limited to the two Scholl siblings. Centered around the wait before their execution, Zimmermann creates a musical theatre work, where historical re-enactment gives its place to a heart-wrenching, deeply personal exploration of morality, death and political responsibility.
The play’s core is an “architectural” dramaturgy, during which, the stage becomes the construction site of a detention cell, and at the same time, the place where the prison is demolished through the near-death, a poetic reverie of the two characters. In the end, a new, hidden landscape of emotion, freedom, and disobedience is revealed.