Annelies: The Voice of Anne Frank

Saturday, October 14, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 15, 3:00 pm

Co-sponsored by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education with support from Congregation Beth Israel

Adult/Senior – $26 in advance / $34 day-of and at the door
Student – $5 in advance and at the door (to purchase Student tickets, email The Reser Box Office or call 971.501.7722)

James Whitbourn’s “Annelies” brings to life the diary written by Anne Frank and has been described as “woundingly beautiful” (The Daily Telegraph). Set to music in 2005 by the British composer, it takes the teenager’s remarkable and penetrating observations, written whilst hiding in an Amsterdam attic, as the basis of its extraordinary and moving libretto. He reflects sounds of the Westerkerk bells and tunes heard on the radio in the Annexe, along with representations of Anne Frank’s Jewish and German heritage, details that add to a score “whose respectful understatement is its greatest strength” (The Times).

Anne’s insights into the fears, hopes, courage and strength experienced as a young Jewish girl in hiding have been ordered into a sequence which tells the story of a whole people who suffered throughout the holocaust, a period which eventually claimed the life of Anne, and six of the seven others with her in hiding, along with six million other Jews.

From the windows, Anne looked up to the beauty of the sky, and downwards to the brutality meted out by the Nazis. The contrasting sights inspired some of the most profound and memorable thoughts in an extraordinary diary, read by millions of people throughout the world. The libretto is compiled and translated by Melanie Challenger from Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl.”

This dramatic work is set for accompanied chorus and soprano soloists. We are thrilled to welcome back soprano soloist Aline Bahamondez for these concerts. Ms. Bahamondez has sung with the Portland Opera since 2009 in capacities ranging from chorus to cameos, and most recently, to the featured role of Cristina Kahlo in their production of Frida. She last appeared with the Choral Arts Ensemble in 2017 as the soloist for the Brahm’s Requiem.

program notes

Annelies draws its inspiration and most of its text from the world-famous diary of Anne Frank (1929-1945). Born in Frankfurt to an assimilated, middle-class, German-Jewish family, Anne, along with her parents (Otto and Edith) and older sister (Margot), emigrated to the Netherlands in 1934, shortly after Hitler came to power, joining roughly 300,000 other German Jews who left their homeland by the end of the 1930s.