Ratio Theatre Company will present a special event in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Twenty five area school children will perform the children’s opera, Brundibár on Saturday, April 21, 8pm and Sunday, April 22, 2 pm at Cullman Performance Hall, The North Carolina History Center. Sponsored by Temple B’Nai Sholem.
Brundibár is not just another children’s production. It is truly a special event on many levels. First and foremost, Brundibár is an opera, written for children and performed by children. With the exception of a few spoken words, all of Brundibár is sung by a cast of 25 talented, young performers, most of whom had never heard opera before auditioning for this one. The children range in age from 10 to 17, and represent many of the schools in Craven and Pamlico counties.
“This is Ratio’s first children’s production.” said Joey Infinito, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ratio Theatre Company. ”As a professional company, we feel an obligation to uphold an artistic standard and choose significant material for our educational programs. This opera is a perfect example of how theatre can instill a sense of empathy in young people. Something that is unquestionably lacking in our society. It’s a very important piece.”
Brundibár tells the story of a town bully, an organ grinder who intimidates and frightens the local children. Aninku and Pepicek, a brother and sister, try to obtain some milk for their ailing mother, but have no money and are chased from the town square by Brundibár. With the aid of a dog, cat and sparrow, Aninku and Pepicek are able to raise the money needed to purchase the milk. Unfortunately, an outraged Brundibár steals the money. The animals and children give chase and quickly recover the money. Brundibar, the evil bully has been conquered and the children celebrate with a victory song.
Brundibár is directed by Karen Bottjen Plaster, National Board Certified, Lead Music Teacher for the Craven County Schools and private instructor. ” Brundibár was written in1938 and does not have the popular music or name recognition to appeal to today’s youth. So, “Why Brundibár? asks Plaster” The essence of all of my answers is that I believe in the value of children – all children. Through this production of Brundibár, our children are giving voices to the children our world lost in the Holocaust. They are learning about diversity, tolerance and the importance of standing together against evil. These lessons are not limited to being relevant in 1938, they are eternal.”
Submitted by: Andrea Owens for the Ratio Theatre Company www.ratiotheatre.org 252-670-7736