ATTILA GLATZ CONCERT PRODUCTIONS INC.
A Holocaust Oratorio for Today
Music and Lyrics composed by Zane Zalis
RENOWNED CONDUCTOR, ROBERTO PATERNOSTRO, MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE ISRAEL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA LEADS OPERA CANADA SYMPHONY
A BREATHTAKING MUSICAL EXPERIENCE WITH A CAST OF OVER 200 MUSICIANS, CHOIRS AND SOLOISTS
TORONTO PREMIERE - ROY THOMSON HALL- OCTOBER 25, 2011-8 PM-TICKETS NOW ON SALE!
Toronto, May 30, 2011. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The truth must not be erased. Composed of words and music in twelve movements in the musical language of today, I Believe, tells an inspired story of the inextinguishable will to survive. This non-profit production, organized by a dedicated committee, is a 90-minute piece created by award winning Canadian musician/composer Zane Zalis. The Toronto premiere at Roy Thomson Hall on Oct. 25 at 8 pm, for one performance only, features world renowned conductor Roberto Paternostro, Music Director of the highly esteemed Israel Chamber Orchestra. Maestro Paternostro will lead Opera Canada Symphony, along with members of the Orpheus Choir (Robert Cooper, Music Director), The University of Toronto MacMillan Singers (Hilary Apfelstadt, Conductor), the Hamilton Children’s Choir (Zimfira Poloz, Artistic Director) and special guest soloists, soprano, Kelsey Cowie and tenors Marc Devigne and Marko Zeiler.
Ticket prices: $45, $55, $75, $95, $125, and $135. VIP tickets are available at $300 and will include a meet and greet with creator Zane Zalis who will be in attendance for this landmark concert, Maestro Paternostro and soloists, Kelsey Cowie, Marc Devigne and Marko Zeiler. To purchase tickets: roythomson.com or (416) 872-4255. Concert information: www.ibelieveproject.org
The composing and research for I Believe commenced in 2004. Following a series of excerpted performances in Winnipeg (Canada), Murau (Austria) and Jerusalem (Israel), I Believe premiered in 2009 in Winnipeg, featuring the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Music Director, Alexander Mickelthwate and accompanied by a 140-voice adult choir, a 40 voice children’s choir, soloists and a narrator. As part of the research, Holocaust survivors courageously shared their stories with Mr. Zalis. He has transformed these stories and years of study, into a powerful score of 12 musical movements with intensely moving lyrics. The composer, not Jewish himself, is a child of the Ukrainian Catholic traditions and adds:
... most oratorios are based on sacred Christian themes, such as Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah. This is a non-religious humanitarian story. The subject of this oration gripped and held me and would not let me go... It’s very personal for me... Peace is not a conclusion but a continuous journey that requires the traveler to be a thoughtful and compassionate navigator. We must all stand up against intolerance of any kind. This is universal.
Mr. Zalis was honoured with the Canadian Interfaith Leadership Award, the inaugural Manitoba Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for the Advancement of Inter-religious Understanding and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, for his significant contributions to music, music education and community.
A potential educational outreach program is being planned around the project, which takes place one week before Holocaust Education Week, November 1-9, 2011. Toronto’s Holocaust Education week, presented by the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre of UJA Federation, Toronto, is the largest of its kind in the world.
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This unique Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra recording of Winnipeg composer / lyricist Zane Zalis' Holocaust oratorio resonates with conviction and the need to communicate unimaginable horrors - and ultimately hope - in a contemporary idiom. The disc includes all texts and notes about the production that was five years in the making, with the first-rate ensemble led by WSO's Alexander Mickelthwate.
Live performances don't always translate well to a recording, but this one successfully allows Zalis's compelling theatricality to emerge throughout the disc's 12 tracks. The children's chorus singing “fly away” in The Children tugs at your heartstrings while soloists Kelsey Cowie and Marc Devigne's gutsy vocals add emotional gravitas to What Now? A Suspenseful Death March includes an ominious humming refrain as the men transform into a chorus of lost souls.
Last May's world premiere sold out. Those who couldn't get a ticket have another chance to check out this ever-timely work that speaks to all generations.
Winnipeg Free Press
Listen to Composer Zane Zalis' radio interview - Classical 96.3, June 21, 2011
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