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'Verdi's Requiem' Honors WWII PrisonersMulti-media Concert Offers History Lesson, Performance

April 28, 2009 - Houston - In 1943, a group of prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp united against their Nazi captors. Using their voices as tools of protest, these prisoners delivered 16 performances of Verdi's "Requiem."

This tale of courage continues to move audiences and is the inspiration for a special performance at University of Houston's Moores Opera House.

At 7:30 p.m., May 1, the Moores Symphony Orchestra will team up with the Moores Chorale and Choruses to honor the singing prisoners of Terezin with "Verdi's Requiem: A Defiant Requiem." Tickets are $15 and $10 for students and seniors. To reserve tickets, call 713-743-3313.

This spectacular concert will feature noted conductor Murray Sidlin, who has conducted extensive research on the Terezin experience and coordinated performances honoring those brave musicians who dared to defy their captors.

It all began when he discovered a tattered book telling the story of how inmate Rafael Schacter organized a chorus and orchestrated the performances despite opposition from other prisoners. Sidling's interest in the topic took him to Israel, Boston, the Czech Republic and New York. He discovered camp survivors who offered first hand accounts of what happened at Terezin and the beauty and bravery of the performances.

The audience also will hear directly from these survivors as they will appear in a video that will be shown during the concert. Other video images will include footage from the actual concentration camp.

More than 140 singers will take the stage for this performance including faculty soloists Joseph Evans, professor of voice; Cynthia Clayton, assistant professor of voice; Melanie Sonnenberg, visiting professor of vocal studies; and Hector Vasquez, affiliate artists.

"It is an honor to host this concert here at the Moores School of Music," said Betsy Cook Weber, director of undergraduate choral studies. "During this unique, emotional performance, audiences can expect to be educated, as well as entertained."

The event is presented in collaboration with UH's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts

WHAT: "Verdi's Requiem: a Defiant Requiem"
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., May 1

Moores Opera House
University of Houston - Entrance 16 off of Cullen Blvd.
Houston, TX 77204-4017

WHO: UH School of Theatre & Dance

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