FREE and open to the public!
For the fifth consecutive year at CWU, Seattle's world-class Music of Remembrance ensemble (under the direction of Mina Miller) will perform their dramatic song cycle which tells of the day-to-day fight for survival of Krystyna Zywulska.
(L-R) Craig Sheppard, piano; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jonathan Green, double bass; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Caitlin Lynch, soprano (in the role of Krystyna Zywulska).
This is MOR’s second commission from composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer (after 2007’s For a Look or a Touch), and it tells of the day-to-day fight for survival of Krystyna Zywulska. Published just after the war, her memoir I Survived Auschwitz has long been a landmark in Polish literature on the Holocaust, but her songs and poems of resistance are just beginning to receive real attention.
With her mother, Krystyna walked out of the Warsaw ghetto in broad daylight in 1942, and joined the Polish resistance. Under the name Zofia Wiśniewska, she counterfeited identity cards and other documents. Captured by the Gestapo in 1943, she gave them the name Krystyna Żywulska and was eventually sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, she began to write satiric poems that became camp anthems of resistance. One caught the attention of a more highly placed prisoner, who arranged to have the near-death Żywulska transferred to the Effektenkammer detail at Birkenau--staffing the storage rooms for prisoners' personal effects. Her poetry had in all likelihood saved her life, but since her new barracks were right next to the crematorium, Żywulska no longer had any protection from the horror of a death camp's purpose.
Sponsored by Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Department of Music, and Center for Diversity and Social Justice. For more information, call 509-963-1687 or 509-963-2839.
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