Published On: Fri, Mar 11th, 2011

FAU concert celebrates the Purim season

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BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic University’s department of music presents the concert “Celebrating Purim: Klezmer and More” performed by ensemble-in-residence Klezmer East on Sunday, March 13, at 3 p.m. in the University Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus. The concert is free with a suggested donation of $10.

The first half will be a variety of Klezmer music presented by Klezmer East, directed by Paul Green. In the second half, Green, clarinet; Birgit Fioravante, soprano; and Heather Coltman, piano, will perform Vashti, or The Whole Megillah by David Schiff.

Green commissioned this work a few years ago as a celebration of the Purim season.

Subtitled “A Purim Shpiel,” the work is a retelling of the biblical story behind the Jewish holiday. Ahasuerus, the dim-witted king of Persia, falls under the counsel of the evil Haman, who nearly convinces him to destroy the Jewish people.

But Schiff, who also fashioned the witty libretto, throws in a few delightful twists. For starters, he makes the king’s first wife, Vashti, a leading figure, turning the tale into a feminist drama of sorts. Then, he puts all the characters into the voice of a single singer/narrator, accompanied by an “orchestra” of clarinet and piano.

For more information, call 561-297-3820.

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