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A Musical Tribute to Composer Charles Strouse

Spring Season 2005

"Having seen Ms. Pechstein's remarkable performance... we are proud and honored to have been part of such a moving and artistically superb enterprise. This production... is not only musically affecting and provocative. It also sheds a new light on the Diary..."
Bernhard von der Planitz, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York City

"Pechstein masterfully conveyed Anne's transformation from wide-eyed, ecstatic birthday girl to... somber young woman... Her portrayal of Frank was deeply affecting, revealing an understanding of Frank both as a young woman and as an extraordinary symbol... Anne Frank felt much shorter than its hour length, swiftly taking the audience through twenty-one scenes and nearly as many emotions."
Alicia Zuckerman, Opera News Online

"[B]y the time the hour had passed in which one brilliant young soprano with rare acting ability had dazzled the audience with a knockout performance, we came to realize that Anne Frank fit the demands of the mono opera almost perfectly... Mr. Frid's 21 scenes are right out of the diary and the words that he selected for the stage lift the subject far above the standard fare...The dialogue among the ensemble players seems ideally intimate, in fact, exactly right... Encompass's Director and founder, Nancy Rhodes, once again led a production into a rarified atmosphere of excellence."
Barry Cohen, New Music Connoisseur

"Frid uses the monologue form with great skill to extend those portraits both verbally and musically... [Frid] has taken a book with which we are almost too familiar and reimagined it in an unlikely way, with results that restore much of the power of the original work."
George Robinson, The Jewish Week

The Diary of Anne Frank
Anne Frank Button BarPhotographsLibrettoCrewCast


Dunja Pechstein (Anne Frank) is a native of Germany. She received her masters in music and a degree in vocal pedagogy from the Musikhochschule in Detmold, Germany. Ms. Pechstein has performed in The Magic Flute (Knabe); The Marriage of Figaro (Barbarina); Hansel and Gretel (Hansel); Il Turco in Italia (Zaida); The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahoganny (Girl); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck); Dido and Aeneas (Witch); and in the New York premiere of The Diary of Anne Frank. A versatile musician with a strong interest in contemporary music, Ms. Pechstein performed regularly with the percussion ensemble Rhythmik Attacca and was hired as a guest artist at the Landestheater in Detmold. After moving to New York City in 1997, Ms. Pechstein performed her solo recital debut at the German General Consulate in 1999. She has appeared in productions with Elysium Between Two Continents and The Lark Ascending. Ms. Pechstein is the voice teacher on the music faculty at the United Nations International School and at the German School of White Plains.

Nancy Rhodes (stage director and producer) In May 2000, Opera America honored Founding Artistic Director Nancy Rhodes and Encompass New Opera Theatre "In recognition of 25 years of dynamic leadership." A champion of American Opera, Rhodes staged the world premiere of Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe for San Francisco Opera, Virgil Thomson’s Lord Byron at Alice Tully Hall, new operas for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, and Waterbury Symphony. Internationally, she directed Death In Venice in Stockholm, Carmen in Oslo, Happy End in Finland, Kiss Me Kate in Ankara, (filmed for TV), and West Side Story in Istanbul. In Amsterdam, she directed Eccentrics, Outcasts and Visionaries: A Century of American Opera. At Encompass, she staged The Mother of Us All (awarded Excellence in the Creative Arts), Regina, Phaedra, Michael Stewart’s Elizabeth and Essex starring Estelle Parsons, and the American Premieres of Antheil’s Transatlantic and Venus in Africa and the world premiere of Un Racconto Fiorentino at Alice Tully Hall. She directs musical theatre workshops in Europe and Asia and is the Vice President and U.S. Delegate to the International Theatre Institute, where she has been a guest speaker in Sweden, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, Korea, Moscow, Czech Republic, and Estonia.

Sybille Werner (Conductor) has appeared with symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, including the Fort Collins Symphony in Colorado, Opera Amici in Manhattan, the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble (where she is also music director), and the Bialystok State Philharmonic and the Poznan Symphony in Poland. She has served as Music Director/Conductor of the Pro Solisti Chamber Orchestra, the Manhattan Opera Association, the Rockaway-Five Towns Symphony, and the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York. In 2000 she led the world premiere of a chamber opera by Martin Halpern and made her German debut with concerts at Collegium Musicum Schloss Pommersfelden and with the First Women’s Chamber Orchestra of Austria. Last spring Ms. Werner made her debut in Japan with Keiko Fujiie’s La Niña de Cera, followed by Grigori Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank in New York, a recording engagement with the SWR Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern, and a multimedia chamber opera production of Dave Soldier’s Naked Revolution in Virginia.

Grigori Frid (Composer) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1915. He studied composition in Irkutsk and at the Moscow Conservatory. After serving in World War II, he produced many instrumental and vocal works and compositions for symphony and chamber orchestras. In 1965 Mr. Frid founded the Moscow Youth Music Club, a well-known venue for introducing the works of contemporary composers. Among Mr. Frid’s most important works are his two mono operas, The Diary of Anne Frank (1969) and The Letters of van Gogh (1975). Mr. Frid resides in Moscow.

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