Anne & Zef | 45' | opera about a.o. Anne Frank, now available in 4 languages!
The Nederlands Philharmonic Orchestra (aka NedPho) in Amsterdam asked me
to compose an opera about Anne Frank for kids 12+ in 2015.
'Anne & Zef' is based on the successful play 'Anne en Zef' by Ad de Bont, who used parts of Anne Frank's diary as a starting point. The opera was created in Dutch and has been translated up to now into Italian, English and German and is also very suited for anyone older than 12.
Zef, a fifteen year-old Albanian boy from our time, was killed because of the Kanun, the blood revenge. In the afterlife he meets Anne Frank and they find out they have a lot in common: a violent death, problems with parents, Anne loved to write, Zef loved to act. Both were robbed of their freedom prior to their premature deaths: Anne in the Secret Annex, Zef had to hide in his own home to stay safe. Their curiosity about each other leads to poignant, funny and at times melancholy scenes. Gradually they grow closer to each other.
Key element in the story is the 'unknown diary' of Anne: Ad de Bont created new texts as if Anne had continued to write: 'First on a stone or in the sand, then in the air and finally only in my head'.
The music is accessible and captivating. Intense scenes, such as those told by Anne about Westerbork and Auschwitz, are interspersed with lyrical, colorful music.
'Monique Krüs' Klangsprache ist von einer unaufdringlichen Dringlichkeit und schleicht sich auf leisen Sohlen unter die Haut.'
'Wie tief trifft das Lied Annes.'
'... Opera is poignant ... .heart-warming music'
'....touching and lively music'
'Chances are the young audience does not see opera any longer as elitist, old-fashioned or boring. Their first opera was exciting, provocative, interesting and moving, and they won't easily forget that'
CAST & CREW in the AMSTERDAM Staging
Libretto: Ad de Bont
Director: Corina van Eijk
Conductor in the video: David Niemann
Anne: Lilian Farahani, soprano
Zef: Benjamin de Wilde, baritone
Musicians of the Nederlands Philharmonic Orchestra
At the premiere with Irene Witmer, artistic manager of the NedPho, introducing the opera to the audience. To prepare the young audience for the performance, the NedPho had put together an educational package for schools.
Reviews / Previews / Quotes
Great review in De Volkskrant
(major Dutch newspaper):
'moving and vivid opera music', 'Anne's theme on viola is very touching'
Anne en Zef is published by DEUSS MUSIC