Defiant Requiem

Defiant Requiem Sidlin Conducting
Saturday, October 12th – SOLD OUT!
7 PM at the Screen
    Conductor Murry Sidlin, in person
    Dessert Reception

Special Pre-Season Talk
Tuesday, October 1st

7 PM at Temple Beth Shalom
“Light in the Time of Darkness: The Other Music of Terezin”
    with Steven Ovitsky

    Executive Director, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Co-sponsored by the Santa Fe Opera Guild

From late 1943 to June of 1944 at the Terezín Concentration Camp, imprisoned Czech conductor Rafael Schächter led a chorus of his fellow Jewish prisoners — most of them doomed to the gas chambers at Auschwitz — in 16 performances of Verdi’s Requiem, including once before the very Nazis who had condemned them to death. With only a single musical score, this group of 150 fated Jewish prisoners would learn and sing Verdi’s momentous work. Over 60 years later Conductor Murry Sidlin, accompanied by a handful of survivors, returned to Terezin to conduct a memorial concert of the Requiem.


The story of Terezín (aka Theresienstadt), the Requiem, and of Conductor Murry Sidlin’s return to conduct a memorial concert is eloquently told in director Doug Shultz’s powerful new documentary Defiant Requiem. One of the most complex and demanding of chorale works, Verdi’s 1874 work was originally intended as a musical rendition of the Catholic funeral mass. Rafael Schächter took Verdi’s music and transformed it into a universal statement, one proclaiming the prisoners’ unbroken spirit and warning of God’s coming wrath against their Nazi captors. The Santa Fe theatrical premiere also marks Verdi’s bi-centennial. Verdi was born on October 10, 1813.

Defiant Requiem has been generously underwritten by Season Underwriters Bonnie Ellinger and Paul Golding