Breman’s Atlanta Opera series launches Saturday

Concert preview

“Music of the Holocaust: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht”

8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $65. Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum, 1440 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta. 678-222-3700,

The featured vocalist for Saturday evening's opening program of the Molly Blank Jewish Concert Series is a child of Holocaust survivors. The conductor's parents were saved by Oskar Schindler.

So mezzo-soprano Helene Schneiderman and Atlanta Opera music director Arthur Fagen have more reasons than usual to be invested in the concert, to be held at the Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum in Midtown.

Titled “Music of the Holocaust: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht,” the series’ debut program honors Jews who lost their lives as a result of coordinated attacks throughout Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938.

The three-concert series celebrating Jewish contributions to music will feature Atlanta Opera artists performing in the Breman’s 330-seat auditorium in a first-time partnership between the cultural organizations. The series is being made possible by a grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and is named for the opera-loving mother of the Atlanta Falcons owner.

For Saturday’s concert, Schneiderman will perform a selection of songs, lullabies and poems set to music from the ghettos of Germany and Poland.

The program also will feature chamber music interwoven with a selection of visual images and readings prepared by the Breman Museum’s Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education. It will include Gideon Klein’s String Trio (1944) and Hans Krasa’s Passacaglia and Fugue for String Trio (1944), both composed inside the Nazi concentration camp Theresienstadt.

Fagen programmed the series in collaboration with Breman leaders and will conduct all the concerts. The remaining programs, each featuring a post-concert reception with the performers, are:

  • "Jewish Composers of the 19th and 20th Centuries," including compositions by Felix Mendelssohn, Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein, at 3 p.m. Jan. 19.
  • "The Best of Broadway," featuring music by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin and Steven Sondheim, at 3 p.m. March 9.