But the Giraffe & Brundibar

But the Giraffe & Brundibar

By Tony Kushner; Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

Theatre Communications Group, Paperback, 9781559364119, 80pp.

Publication Date: April 2016


"Exultant. . . . As the unlikely survival of this opera suggests, the joy and beauty that music and art express can outlast evil even when they cannot defeat it." "The New York Times"

"It's a tale of the outrage and rebellion of even the natural world of dogs, cats, and sparrows against things as unnatural as injustice and poverty and the suffering of children. It's a story of good defeating evil. But its history is haunted by a single instance of evil defeating good." Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner provides a new English libretto, and Maurice Sendak the design, for this Czech opera a beautiful children's story extolling courage in the face of tyranny that was first performed in a concentration camp. Just before the opera's 1942 premiere, its composer Hans Krasa was arrested and sent to Theresienstadt, or Terezin, a "model ghetto" that was in reality a death camp. After a copy of the score was smuggled in, Krasa took advantage of the large number of talented instrumentalists there to stage the opera with imprisoned children. Performed fifty-five times at Terezin, "Brundibar" is published here with Kushner's short play "But the Giraffe," a sensitively drawn historical backdrop.

Tony Kushner's plays include "Angels in America," "Homebody/Kabul," "A Bright Room Called Day," "Slavs " and the book and lyrics for "Caroline, or Change."

Maurice Sendak is the author of over a hundred children's books, including "Where the Wild Things Are."

About the Author
Tony Kushner is the author of over two dozen plays, including Angels in America, for which he received the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for the best play of 1993.

Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) was the author and illustrator of such classic children's books as "Where the Wild Things Are" and "In the Night Kitchen". Widely considered one of the most innovative creators of children's literature, he received honors including the Caldecott Medal, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the National Medal of Arts. Sendak was born in Brooklyn in 1928 and died in Connecticut in 2012.