diary of anne frank
Anne Frank’s life and death have come to symbolize the six million Jews (including 1.5 million children) who perished by the hands of the Nazis.
Frid’s opera begins in the morning of her 13th birthday with Anne receiving a special present – a diary, which she starts to write in almost immediately. A few weeks later, the family is forced to go into hiding because Anne’s older sister Margot had received an order from the Nazis to go to a work camp. As the family and four others move into the “secret annex” in the attic of her father’s office building, Anne’s diary becomes her intimate companion. In it she chronicles the events of everyday life in confinement, tensions developing within the group, such as a squabble between two residents, and her intimate feelings, hopes, fears and joys. She also conveys what is going on in the outside world, such as in her reflections on news reports that the Allies are moving closer. Over the course of the 25 months in the annex, Anne matures from a light-hearted schoolgirl into an earnest young woman. Despite many moments of loneliness and despair, the diary reflects Anne’s deep hope and faith in a future and her unshakable will to live.
Anne kept her diary from 12 June 1942 until 1 August 1944, three days before the residents of the annex were betrayed and sent to concentration camps. Nine months later, Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen of typhus. Her father, the only family member to survive, later published parts of her diary.
About Grigori Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank
Composer Grigori Frid began to write the libretto for The Diary of Anne Frank shortly after reading Anne Frank’s diary in 1966 using excerpts from the original diary. After two scheduled performances were canceled because they coincided with Communist Party meetings, he finally performed the opera with only a piano in 1972. The first full production took place in Kislovodsk in 1977. A year later, Mr. Frid smuggled the score to an American lawyer, who arranged a performance at the University of Syracuse. In 1991, the opera was translated into English and performed in Indianapolis; the German premiere took place two years later. Since then, the opera has been performed in many other countries. In May, 2001, Music Tales and Encompass New Opera Theatre produced the New York Premiere of Frid’s opera at Temple Israel, starring Dunja Pechstein, directed by Nancy Rhodes.
Ms. Pechstein performs the chamber orchestra version of the mono opera.