Brundibar was written in 1938 by Czech Jewish composer, Hans Krasa, as an allegory mirroring the experience of Jews in Europe being persecuted by the Nazis.  A tale of two children who— with the help of animal friends and hundreds of school kids—defeat the villainous Brundibar, the opera depicts themes of anti-bullying, the power of friendship, and the triumph of good over evil.  Ironically, the work was performed approximately 55 times at the concentration camp, Theresienstadt, as part of the Nazis’ propaganda machine.  The original libretto by Adolph Hoffmeister has since been adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tony Kushner, with set design by Maurice Sendak.

RUACH’s production of Brundibar is directed by accomplished Wisconsin actor and theater educator, Elyse Edelman, with Nathan Wesselowski, Milwaukee opera singer and instructor, serving as music director.  Alexander ‘Sascha’ Mandl is conducting, and Jason McKinney, internationally known opera performer, will play the title role, also singing in the moving Mahler work on the program.  The cast is comprised of gifted young performers from Southeastern Wisconsin.  Top Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) students and local professional musicians make up the orchestra. Community outreach activities focusing on Holocaust education and themes including anti-bullying will be conducted in conjunction with the production.



Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Bert L. & Patricia Steigleder Charitable Trust

City of Milwaukee Arts Board

Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund

Harri Hoffmann Family Foundation

Milwaukee County Cultural, Artistic, & Musical Programming Advisory Council

National Endowment for the Arts


Wisconsin Arts Board


Sun. May 26, 2019


 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


Ritz Theater at the Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC

6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.

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