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Toronto Jewish Folk Choir, Toronto, Canada, Jun 5

The Toronto Jewish Folk Choir marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of the Nazi death camps in its 79th annual spring concert, Sunday, June 5, 7 p.m. at the Leah Posluns Theatre, 4588 Bathurst St. (parking available). Alexander Veprinsky conducts, with Lina Zemelman on piano, and the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra as guest artists. Tickets, $22, $18 seniors and students, are available at the door, or in advance from Jewish bookstores or by calling 416-398-3405. Children under 12 are admitted free; group rates are available on request.

Along with the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra, the work features soprano Miriam Eskin, tenor Steve Szmutni, and narrator Ruth Borchiver.

Web: www.winchevskycentre.org/institutions/choir.html

The major work is Di Naye Hagode (The New Saga), a choral tone poem by Jewish-American composer Max Helfman (1901- 1963), orchestrated by Maestro Veprinsky. The work commemorates the heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that began on the first night of Passover, April 19, 1943. The text is from the long narrative poem Shotns fun varshever geto (Shadows of the Warsaw Ghetto) by martyred Soviet Yiddish poet Itzik Feffer (1900-1952).

Also on the program is an eclectic mix of songs on Jewish themes in Yiddish and Hebrew. Included are a new medley of songs by the great Yiddish songwriter Avrum Goldfaden arranged by Maestro Veprinsky, choruses in Italian and Russian from Verdi’s Nabucco and Borodin’s Prince Igor, Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm, and a French-Canadian folksong. Solos are sung by sopranos Miriam Eskin and Belva Spiel, and bass Herman Rombouts.

As well, the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra will perform orchestral medleys of Jewish and Ukrainian songs, arranged by Maestro Veprinsky.

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