As part of the research and development process, Leo has been on a number of trips to Auschwitz. An article detailing the trips will be published in due course.
Drawing from "Day of a Prisoner" cycle by Polish Auschwitz survivor Mieczyclaw Koscienlniak.
The Orchestras of Auschwitz is due to be premiered in summer 2017 by Constella OperaBallet, directed by Ella Marchment.
The Orchestras of Auschwitz is an opera-ballet production which memorialises the musicians imprisoned in Auschwitz and Birkenau who were forced to play as slave labour commandos were marched to and from their daily work. The production will revolve around one of the Sunday concerts given by the camp's orchestra and vocal soloists, who are described in many survivor memoires, as chinks of daylight through the darkness. In conversation with the Deputy Head of Archives in The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum this year, members of Constella OperaBallet were very moved to learn that much of the music that was composed and arranged for the orchestras remains in the Auschwitz archives. These scores have barely been touched, or performed, since.
Commissioned in memory of Sir Martin Gilbert, Constella OperaBallet’s Artistic Director Leo Geyer will be writing a new composition drawing from the original compositions written by prisoners. The libretto will be created by Constella’s dramturg Anna Whyatt who worked closely with Sir Martin as well as Martin Surgarman, archivist of the Jewish Veterans Association. Choreography will be created by English National Ballet’s Associate Artist George Williamson who has created critical acclaimed work for Constella. The production will be directed by the young, internationally regarded director Ella Marchment. In the spirit of the work and legacy of Sir Martin Gilbert, we want to give life to these hidden works and voices to help move the history of the Holocaust into the next generation and into new modes of expression.
Please note that this work is not currently available for hire or purchase.