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Zalmen Mlotek headlines show, NYC, Nov 11

Zalmen Mlotek, Executive Director of The Folksbiene Yiddish Theater and Musical Director of The New Yiddish Chorale, will be presenting "Jewish Musical Drama in the New Country," a concert of rarely-heard Yiddish music, on Tuesday, November 11th at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The concert will feature an 1882 Yiddish operetta as well as the NYC premiere of a Yiddish cantata. Tickets for the performance, which begins at 7 p.m., are $18 at the door.

All performances, which are to be held in the Feinberg Auditorium, will have simultaneous English translations on screen for the enjoyment of those who do not speak Yiddish. Remaining tickets at $18 can be purchased at the door only. To reserve tickets, phone (212) 213-2120. Further information is available at http://www.milkenarchive.org/events. The Jewish Theological Seminary is located at 3080 Broadway at 122nd Street.

The concert culminates the week-long International Conference and Festival heralding the 350th anniversary of American Jewry. The festival is presented by the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music and the JTS in cooperation with the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Commission on Synagogue Music of Reform Judaism, Zamir Choral Foundation and The National Foundation for Jewish Culture.

The program will feature a concert version of the first Yiddish operetta produced in America (in 1882), titled "The Witch," or "Di Bobeyakhne" (also known as "Di Kishefmakher") by playwright Abraham Goldfaden. The piece will be performed by The New Yiddish Chorale, New York's acclaimed Yiddish vocal ensemble, with actors and vocal soloists from the Yiddish stage. Performers in the concert version with the Chorale include: Joanne Borts, Broadway actress; Hy Wolfe, actor; Arianne Slack, soprano; Jake Feldman, tenor; and Reyna Schaechter, age 8.

The Chorale will also present the New York City premiere of Di Lererin Mire ("The Teacher Mire") a Ghetto Cantata by Vladimir Heifetz with text by Abraham Sutskever, to whom the performance is dedicated. Sutskever, one of the greatest living Yiddish poets, celebrated his 90th birthday in Tel Aviv this year. The work is a lasting memorial to a legendary and idealistic schoolteacher, Mire Bernstein, who met her death in Majdanek when she stayed with her pupils in the Vilna Ghetto in September of 1941 rather than escape from the Nazis with the Partisans.

Soloists performing the Ghetto Cantata include Re'ut Ben Zev and Robert Abelson, both of whom are artists with the Milken Archive, and Susan Romalis of the Chorale. Also appearing will be Maurice Sklar, concert violinist. As an introduction to the second half of the concert, which includes the Ghetto Cantata, Adrienne Cooper will sing a song written in America by the noted Yiddish theater composer Alexander Olshanetsky (Belz, Ikh Hob Dikh Tsufil Lib). The songs pay homage to the nostalgic longing felt by immigrants for Vilna, the Jerusalem of Lithuania.

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