World Premiere “Kristallnacht Cantata – A Voice Of Courage”

William Cooper and Otto Jontof-Hutter - World Premiere of The Kristallnacht Cantata – A Voice of Courage

The World Premiere of Kristallnacht Cantata, a stunning and imaginative orchestral and choral piece commemorating events surrounding Kristallnacht, the chilling precursor to the Holocaust. Two men, one German Jewish, one Australian Aboriginal, from vastly different backgrounds, form a bond of kinship and courage that distance and culture cannot divide. The premiere takes place at Temple Beth Israel, St Kilda, on the evening of 8 December 2019

World Premiere of The Kristallnacht Cantata – A Voice of Courage

The Kristallnacht Cantata – A Voice of Courage, is an original and imaginative orchestral and choral piece which will premiere at Temple Beth Israel in St Kilda on Sunday, 8th December.

It tells the story of two men from two vastly different backgrounds bonded by their courageous response to Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, where Nazis attacked Jewish people and property throughout Germany and Austria.

The new work pays tribute to Aboriginal elder, William Cooper, who refused to stand by as this violent racism unfolded in Europe, leading an Aboriginal delegation to the German consulate in Melbourne to protest against Kristallnacht.

Cooper’s story is intertwined with the story of Otto Jontof-Hutter, survivor of the Dachau Concentration Camp, and grandfather of the Cantata’s lyricist, as he experiences his precious Germany overcome by racism and terror. Whilst this piece is based on true events, it takes creative license to imagine a metaphysical bond between the two men that crosses the boundaries of culture and distance.

The Kristallnacht Cantata is a collaboration between South African-born Artistic Director and lyricist, Ron Jontof-Hutter, and Israeli-born composer, Alon Trigger, designed to inspire audiences to see William Cooper as a role model and not stand in silence wherever or whenever racism and violence erupts. This is a message that resounds with as much urgency now as it did in 1938.

The Premiere is set to be a cultural and musical event not to be missed. The evening will open with performances by Aboriginal choir, Yen-Gali Mullum, and a discussion by Jewish community leaders and Indigenous elders about the legacy of William Cooper’s protest, and the lesson for today’s society.

Another orchestral piece composed by Alon Trigger, Cantillations, will also be performed inspired by traditional Torah chanting.

Directed and conducted by world-renowned musician, Dr. David Kram, audiences will hear the complete 40-minute Kristallnacht Cantata performed for the first time, with a 29-piece orchestra, 10-voice choir and featuring two soloists, Jewish tenor Asher Reichman (playing Otto Jontof-Hutter) and Aboriginal opera singer, Don Bemrose (playing William Cooper) as well as John Wayne Parsons (speaking the dialogue of William Cooper).

It is anticipated that The Kristallnacht Cantata will be performed by the Yachad Chamber Orchestra in major German and European cities in 2020, as well as in America via a collaboration with The Los-Angeles Museum of The Holocaust in Los Angeles as part of their artistic and educational program.

Tickets to the World Premiere of the Kristallnacht Cantata on Sunday December 8th at 7pm can be purchased through TryBooking by following this link:

Event Details

Program: Kristallnacht Cantata – A Voice Of Courage
Date: Sunday 8 December 2019
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Temple Beth Israel, 76-82 Alma Rd, St Kilda, 3162
Cost: $35 – $49
Bookings: Online at Trybooking

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World Premiere "Kristallnacht Cantata - A Voice Of Courage