The Vilna Ghetto Theater: Yiddish Poetry Set to Music (1941-1943)

Sponsored by The Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University invites you to attend

Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7pm

in Rapaporte Treasure Hall (Goldfarb Library) Brandeis University

On Sept 6, 1941, the Germans established a ghetto in Vilna (then the occupied Republic of Poland--today Vilnius, Lithuania) where they forced about 40,000 Jews to work 10-hour shifts on starvation diets. In January 1942, a theater opened in the Vilna Ghetto. Though some were initially hesitant to embrace the undertaking, the theater performances were a huge success with the suffering ghetto inmates. For a few hours they offered the relief of laughter and tears.

In commemoration of the ghetto's establishment 70 years ago we are presenting moving and witty excerpts from the four revue shows composed by gifted composers and lyricists.

Sophie Michaux, voice
Eugenia Gerstein, piano
Susanne Klingenstein, lecture

Sophie Michaux was born in London. She is currently studying voice at the Longy School of Music with Anna Gabrieli. Although Ms.Michaux is concentrating on the classical opera repertoire, her richmezzo-soprano also makes her a sought-after soloist for jazz and tango ensembles. Eugenia Gerstein was born in Moscow, Russia. She taught at the Music Teachers' College in Voronezh, where she chaired the Department of Music Theory. Since leaving Russia in 1994, Eugenia Gerstein embarked on a career in music education and choral conducting. Susanne Klingenstein was born in Germany. After studying at the University of Heidelberg and Brandeis University, she pursued Yiddish literature and postgraduate work in American literature at Harvard University. In 1991 she earned a PhD in American Studies. She teaches philosophy and history of medical culture at the Harvard Medical School. She is a regular contributor to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and is currently writing an introduction to Yiddish literature for Beck Verlag in Munich.

Contact: Sabine von Mering

The same concert+talk will also be held on Tuesday, September 6 at the Goethe Institut Boston at 6pm (admission $5). For more information, please visit