The Brennan-Goldman Institute, WXXI, and The Little Theatre are pleased to present a free screening of this film followed by a panel discussion.
Join us at the Little Theatre on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 PM for a screening of Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance, a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem at Terezin, the former concentration camp. Immediately following the film will be a panel discussion (panelists to be announced soon). The event is free and open to the public.
In the spring of 1944, a handpicked group of Nazi officers was treated to an unusual performance by inmates in a concentration camp. What appeared to be a soaring rendition of a choral masterpiece was intended as a subversive condemnation of the Nazis and a desperate message to the outside world. In the face of horrific living conditions, slave labor and the constant threat of deportation to Auschwitz, the Jewish inmates of Terezin concentration camp — artists, musicians, poets and writers — fought back with art and music.
Led by conductor Raphael Schächter, a chorus of 150 inmates performed one of the world’s most difficult and powerful choral works, Verdi’s Requiem, a Catholic work re-imagined by imprisoned Jews as a condemnation of their captors. Ultimately, they performed for Nazi senior officers and the International Red Cross, singing what they dared not say. Six decades later, conductor Murry Sidlin and a new choir take Verdi’s Requiem back to Terezin to reawaken this little known chapter of heroism and the resilience of the human spirit. Combining soaring concert footage, powerful survivor recollections, evocative animation, archival images and the prisoners’ own artwork, this artistic uprising is brought to life in Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance.