Primo Levi and Vasily Grossman: A Dialogue Between Witnesses

Nov 9 - 2019

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  • Primo Levi and Vasily Grossman: A Dialogue Between Witnesses

A theatrical reading with live music
for Holocaust Education Week 2019

With Michael Miranda and Cantor Charles Osborne, readers
Robbie Grunwald, piano , Drew Jurecka, violin, clarinet

Saturday November 9, 2019, 8pm
Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Ave.
Tickets $15 +HST in advance / $20 at the door

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“Why remember? It is the writer’s duty to tell the terrible truth, and it is a reader’s civic duty to learn this truth. Those who would turn their backs or close their eyes or pass over this truth offend the memory of the fallen.” —Vasily Grossman, 1944

Though they never met or read each other’s work, Italy’s Primo Levi (1919-1987) and Ukraine’s Vasily Grossman (1905-1964) share the distinction of having written pivotal eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust, describing in granular detail the very texture of life and death at Auschwitz and Treblinka, respectively. A Dialogue Between Witnesses features powerful theatrical readings of these two iconic Jewish writers’ texts, with poignant musical underscoring and interludes of original and traditional klezmer music. In a world soon to be without living survivors of the Holocaust, our success in perpetuating the memory of the Shoah will depend greatly on eyewitness testimonies, particularly when rendered in creative and artistic ways. In the evocative interpretations of readers Michael Miranda and Cantor Charles Osborne, and musicians Robbie Grunwald and Drew Jurecka, the drama and painful truth of this dark chapter in human history comes alive in an unforgettably moving performance, compelling contemporary and future audiences to learn, and to never forget.  

Presented by the Ashkenaz Foundation and Temple Sinai, as part of Neuberger Holocaust Education Week.
In collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto, in honour of Primo Levi’s centenary. Sponsored by Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.

A Dialogue Between Witnesses was originally created as a joint project of the Turin-based International Primo Levi Studies Center and Study Center Vasilij Grossman, with texts selected by authors and literary critics Domenico Scarpa and Marco Sisto. It was presented for the first time in North America in January 2019 at Toronto’s Alliance Francaise, with the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto.

 

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