'Voices of the Holocaust' premieres in Sarasota

'Voice of the Holocaust' is based on songs sung in concentration camps

April 24, 2014 

Monday is the annual International Day of Holocaust Remembrance, and to mark the occasion Gloria Musicae will present the Florida premiere of a cantata titled "Voice of the Holocaust."

Composer Sheridan Seyfried -- who will be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for the performance -- created the piece 10 years ago. It's based on based on 22 songs sung in ghettoes and concentration camps.

Besides Seyfried's music, the Sarasota performance features original choreography. Some of the area's best music and dance companies -- including the Gloria Musicae Singers, Sarasota Young Voices, the Sarasota Jewish Chorale, the Booker High School Concert Choir, the Sarasota Choral Society, the Chroma Quartet and the Sarasota-Manatee Dance Alliance -- will perform.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a civil rights activist and award-winning author and journalist, will offer opening remarks.

The aim, according to Gloria Musicae director Joseph Holt, is to offer insight into the experiences of Jewish families forced into ghettoes and concentration camps during World War II.

"Through music, multimedia and dance, the audience will be enriched by an understanding of how the arts played an important role in helping families cope with the horrific conditions imposed during their imprisonment," Holt said.

Details: 7:30 p.m April 28, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $25-$70. Information: 941-953-3368, www.vanwezel.org.

-- Marty Clear

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