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News - Frau Schindler: The Heroine behind the Hero

Katerina Hebelková (Emilie), Mathias Hausmann (Oskar)
© Christian POGO Zach
Thursday, March 09, 2017
'…her perspective provides a window into the psychology of the times — how step by step, an advanced society was slowly seduced into the unthinkable.' 

Thomas Morse
 
 
Music Sales Corp. and G. Schirmer, Inc. proudly announce Frau Schindler, the new opera in three acts by Thomas Morse, with a libretto co-written by Morse and Ken Cazan.

Frau Schindler is the story of a woman's survival and heroism in the heart of one of the darkest periods of human history: the Second World War. The opera is told from the perspective of Emilie Schindler (the wife of Oskar whose story was portrayed in Steven Spielberg's 1993 masterpiece, Schindler's List). Exploring how an ordinary German couple (Oskar & Emilie) were immersed in the imperceptibly slow escalation of fascist violence, the opera portrays a completely unique point of view on their experiences. The heroic actions of Emilie Schindler illustrate how grace and goodness quietly persisted.

American film and TV composer Thomas Morse moved to Berlin from Los Angeles, inspired to conduct original research for an opera that, like Schindler's List, would portray Oskar Schindler's helping to save 1,200 of his Jewish workers during the Holocaust. But through years of traveling to World War II sites including the Schindler Factories in Brněnec, Czech Republic (formerly Brunnlitz in 'Sudetenland'), and Krakow, Poland, interviewing World War II survivors and becoming fluent in German himself, Morse instead decided to write an opera featuring Frau Emilie Schindler.

The story from her perspective…[reveals] a society that felt that it had been victimized, and in turn used this to justify rage toward an entire people. Through Emilie's eyes, we also see a complex and paradoxical portrait of Oskar. He was a man who was initially able to severely set aside his moral conscience, in favor of his personal ambition. But he changed his mind about the exploitation of his workers, and actively fought and maneuvered to save them.
— Thomas Morse

Morse and Cazan strove to make the narrative of Frau Schindler as historically accurate as possible. The legendary Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz commissioned the opera and will present the world premiere performance of Frau Schindler on March 9, 2017, in Munich, Germany, with additional performances on March 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19. The performances will be held in the Reithalle.

More:
- watch the trailer
- download the brochure

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