Premiered on PBS on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 18, 2004 at 1 p.m.
While held at the notorious Nazi concentration camp of Terezin, Czech choral conductor Raphael Schachter brought hope to thousands of imprisoned Jews by organizing and leading performances of one the most important choral works ever written, Giuseppi Verdi's "Requiem." DEFIANT REQUIEM tells the story of the brave artists' lives and deaths during one of history’s darkest periods through a combination of orchestral performance, dramatic reenactments and interviews with Terezin camp survivors. Verdi’s "Requiem" was immensely symbolic to the prisoners; while the Nazi's were smug in allowing the performances, thinking the Jews were singing their own death knell, the Jews knew that this Catholic Mass was a powerful way to express their spiritual message for justice and liberation. DEFIANT REQUIEM is a production of Oregon Public Broadcasting in association with Brandenburg Productions, Inc. Credits: Conductor: Murry Sidlin Producer/Director: Phillip Byrd Executive in Charge of Production: Tom Doggett
- Press Release August 2003 (pdf) | (drequiem_pr_aug.pdf)
- Press Release April 2004 (pdf) | (drequiem_pr_apr.pdf)
Pictured, the world premiere of the DEFIANT REQUIEM performance where 2,000 people listened to the symphony and a huge chorus with various stills and video from the Jewish prison camp, Terezin. In this picture the backdrop images are from a Nazi propaganda film and the symphony is being conducted by Murry Sidlin, with Lisa Willson, Soprano, cq, and Eleni Matos, cq, Mezzo, center, to his left. detail >>