Current & Upcoming

March 5, 2024, New York: The World according to Kafka

 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 7.00 pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street | New York, NY 10021 | USA

 

The World According to Kafka
A Musical-Literary Collage
commemorating the 100th anniversary of Franz Kafka’s death

Part dramatic reading, part concert, the musical-literary collage The World According to Kafka juxtaposes texts from Franz Kafka’s short stories, diaries, letters, and aphorisms with compositions by his Czech contemporaries as well as Kafka-settings by German contemporary composer Stefan Heucke.

In his stories, Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924) leaves behind the realm of the possible and probable world in order to better understand the real world. His protagonists often are helplessly confronted by anonymous powers; they are imprisoned in a maze without exit. Fear and failure are dominant topics. In vain his protagonists look for a way out. A master of the absurd, Kafka describes the most fantastic events with a clarity and precision, that leads the reader to the limits of thinking. In Kafka’s work the great upheaval of the 20th century is expressed almost like a vision. Like no other author, Kafka describes the emotional framework and living conditions of modernity.

Baritone Peter Kendall Clark will narrate Franz Kafka’s texts. Soprano Jeannie Im will present some of Kafka’s favourite melodies by Friedrich Silcher and Carl Loewe, as well as songs by Czech composers Max Brod, and Adolf Schreiber, and twelve-tone-settings of Kafka’s prose by Stefan Heucke. Elysium’s Music Director Dan Franklin Smith complements the musical selections with piano solo pieces by Antonin Dvořák, Joseph Bohuslav Foerster, Pavel Haas, Leos Janácek, Bohuslav Martinu, Viteslav Novák, Erwin Schulhoff, Bedřich Smetana, Josef Suk and Viktor Ullmann.

 

Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr von Leïtis, Artistic Director of Elysium – between two continents.

Presented by the Czech Consulate General New York in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive

Admission: Free

Reservations are required and can be made here

January 30, 2024, Oldenburg: Theater in Exile

  

Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 7.00 pm
Karl Jaspers House
Unter den Eichen 22 | 26122 Oldenburg | Germany

 

Theater in Exile
Lecture and Opening of the Exhibition on Piscator and his Political Theater in Exile

Having fled from Paris to New York to escape the Nazis, the political theater maker Erwin Piscator founded a theater school in exile in the US, where an entire generation of leading actors, directors and playwrights received their training. The last of Piscator’s living students, the legendary singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte, died in New York last year at the age of 96.

 

After stops in Bernried, New York, Catania, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Berlin, the exhibition “Piscator: Political Theater in Exile” is now opening in Oldenburg. The show focuses on the years of exile – in Moscow, Paris and New York. Piscator’s work there is placed in the context of his Berlin years – the groundbreaking successes and innovations of the young theater revolutionary in the 1920s, and his later work with important world premieres about the Holocaust in the 1960s.

 

In his lecture at the opening of the exhibition, curator Michael Lahr von Leïtis deals with the difficulties and challenges of exile for theater makers like Piscator and his colleagues, who suddenly had to express themselves in a foreign language and find their way in a culture that was often alien to them.

 

Presented by the Karl Jaspers Society in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive

 

January 25, 2024, Munich: A Girl alone on the Run

Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 7.00 pm
Münchner Künstlerhaus
Lenbachplatz 8 | 80333 München | Germany

 

A Girl Alone on the Run
Reading from the memoirs of Eva Szepesi

On the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024, Hungarian Holocaust survivor Eva Szepesi will speak at the German Bundestag as one of the last surviving eye-witnesses.

When the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz extermination camp on January 27, 1945, they found an unconscious 12-year-old child among the prisoners left behind: Eva Diamant. The German guards had thought she was dead and left her lying among the other corpses instead of forcing her to go on the death march. Critically ill, she was rescued, but on her return to her home town of Budapest, she discovered that most of her family had been murdered.

Eva Diamant survived the selection on the ramp in Auschwitz because she pretended to be 16. Her persecution began in the spring of 1944, when the Germans invaded Hungary. At the age of eleven, she was sent to Slovakia by her mother and from then on lived on the run, finding shelter with well-meaning people until she was finally captured and deported to Auschwitz.

After the war, Eva Diamant, who later married Holocaust survivor Andor Szepesi, remained silent for fifty years. It was only when she was invited to travel to the former extermination camp to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1995 and to be interviewed there by the Shoa Foundation of American director Steven Spielberg that she began to write down her story.

 

The Bavarian state actress Christine Ostermayer will read from Eva Szepesi’s memoirs.

 

Introduction: Michael Lahr von Leïtis, Artistic Director of Elysium – between two continents.

Presented by Münchner Künstlerhaus in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive.

We would like to thank Metropol-Verlag Berlin.

 

  

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