The opera Brundibar has a terrible yet inspirational past: Written in 1938 by Jewish composer Hans Krasa and librettist Adolf Hoffmeister, it was famously performed by children in the Theresienstadt concentration camp with a limited orchestra in 1943. On the surface a fairy tale about a brother and sister who overcome the evil organ grinder Brundibar and therefore earn the right to sing in the town square to earn money for milk for their ailing mother, the dramatized story carried a subtle anti-Nazi message to the denizens of Theresienstadt.
In that spirit, a modern version of the opera will be performed this summer at the Colorado Music Festival, but in preparation, the Boulder Jewish Community Center and Menorah are presenting a three-film series, Music and the Holocaust, beginning tonight at 7 p.m. in the Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts.
The first film, Prisoner of Paradise, is about German-Jewish actor/director Kurt Gerron, who managed to film the camp production of Brundibar at Theresienstadt before being sent to his death there. The Pianist screens at the same time on June 5, and Shadows in Paradise: Hitler's Exiles in Hollywood wraps up the series on June 12, all at the Boedecker, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Tickets are $10; visit www.thedairy.org or call 303-440-7826.
Tue., May 29, 7 p.m., 2012