by Ruth Fazal
A Song of Hope in the Darkness of the Holocaust
“Holocaust Oratorio breaks and warms the heart” – Toronto Star 2003
2003 World premiere Oratorio Terezin -Toronto,Canada
2004 European tour -Concert halls of Prague, Brno, Vienna and Bratislava.
2005 Israel-Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Karmiel. Main cultural event for city of Tel Aviv on Holocaust Memorial Day 05/05/2005
2006 Toronto, Canada
2007 New York City, Carnegie Hall. Long Island. Tilles Centre US premiere
2008 Montreal, Canada.
2009 Hamilton, Canada.
Oratorio Terezin is a full length work scored for Orchestra, Children’s choir, Adult Choir and three Vocal Soloists. Set in the context of the Holocaust, Ruth Fazal has taken the text of children’s poetry which miraculously survived the ghetto of Terezin, and has woven these poems together with passages from the Hebrew scriptures. ( in English)
Many thousands of men and women were taken to the small garrisoned town of Terezin, which the Nazi’s used as a propaganda tool to convince the world that they were taking good care of the Jewish people in Europe. In truth, Terezin was a way-station to the death camps. Over 15,000 children were amongst those who were imprisoned there, and a liltte over 100 of these children survived. Most of them were murdered in Auschwitz. Oratorio Terezin explores the searching questions of the human heart. How this could have happened, and where can we find hope in the face of such human wickedness?
The musical style of Oratorio Terezin is both dramatically intense, and sweetly lyrical. The juxtaposition of the children’s and adult’s voices, alongside the Voice of the Prophet,( baritone) the Voice of God (tenor) and the Voice of Suffering (soprano) create the tension found in the midst of feelings of rejection and abandonment contrasted with the hope deep within the human heart that all will be well.