June 16, 2013

Defiant Requiem

cover image of Defiant Requiem

Defiant Requiem tells the remarkable story of Rafael Schachter, a brilliant young Czech opera-choral conductor who was arrested and sent to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt in 1941. Under the most brutal of circumstances, he recruited 150 prisoners and taught them Verdi's Requiem by rote in a dank cellar using a smuggled score. They performed on 16 occasions for fellow prisoners with the last, most infamous performance on June 23, 1944 in front of high-ranking SS officers from Berlin and the International Red Cross to support the charade that the prisoners were well-treated and flourishing.