June 11, 2014


Composed in 1938 as a submission for a children’s opera competition, Brundibár by Hans Krása with a libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister, was performed by children at the Jewish orphanage when it premiered in Nazi occupied Prague. Hans Krása was arrested before he ever heard the performance and was transported to the Terezin Ghetto (Theresienstadt). The score for Brundibár was smuggled into the ghetto and performed 55 times by the inmates, for the inmates

Brundibár tells the story of a brother and sister who overcome a local town bully in order to help their ill mother and was the most popular cultural activity and powerful symbol of hope when performed by the Jewish people imprisoned in the Terezín Ghetto.

In 1941 the Nazis promoted Terezín as a “Jewish settlement area”, a “model” camp and a “spa town” where elderly Jews could retire in safety. In reality, Terezín was a collection centre for deportations to ghettos and killing centres across Nazi occupied Eastern Europe. Many cultural activities persisted however and Hans Krása was appointed a director of music. Using a score for Brundibár that was smuggled into the ghetto, he re-orchestrated the opera to fit the various musicians and instruments available in the camp. Under the watchful eyes of the guards, the opera had its first public performance in the Magdeburg barracks on 23 September 1943. Rehearsals and performances were continuously disrupted by deportations of cast members to extermination camps, but players were replaced by newly arriving children. Hans Krása perished in the gas chambers of Auschwitz on 17 October 1944.

Rediscovered in the 1970s, the opera has been performed around the world as a way to connect today’s younger generations with survivors of the Holocaust and to strengthen the world’s watch against oppression and discrimination.

Brundibár will be performed for the first time in Sydney on 14 August at the City Recital Hall Angel Place. The production aims to introduce children to the joys of opera, as well as introducing them to the lessons of the Holocaust.

The Sydney Brundibár Project is a collaboration between academic and musician Dr Joseph Toltz and start-up chamber opera company Opera Prometheus, in association with the Sydney Jewish Museum. For the past 17 years, Dr Toltz has been researching the music of Terezín and the place of Brundibár in the memory of Holocaust survivors.

Dr Toltz commented “Despite Sydney being home to the largest number of Terezín survivors in Australia, Brundibár has not yet been staged here. We believe our production is needed while the opportunity for dialogue between survivors and young people is still possible”.

For the Sydney premiere production, over 30 children aged 8 to 12 years have been cast. In the weeks following the City Recital Hall performances, The Sydney Jewish Museum will host a series of special performances for school groups which will include a conversation with a Holocaust survivor plus a tour of the Museum.

Sandra Tiltman



June 11, 2014
Indoor Pool – Radiance of the Seas

Indoor Pool – Radiance of the Seas

The 2015/2016 summer cruise season looks set to be the biggest yet, with Royal Caribbean International offering Australian cruisers the largest selection of state of the art, feature packed ships in the region.

Newcomer Explorer of the Seas will reposition to Australia from Singapore on a 10 night sailing to Fremantle, arriving 13 November 2015.  After a Round Australia and New Zealand cruise, she will arrive at her new homeport of Sydney on 28 November 2015, from where she will cruise to New Zealand and the South Pacific until April 2016. There will also be several 3 and 4 night sailings, allowing guests to sample one of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships.

Voyager of the Seaswill arrive in Sydney for her third consecutive Australian season, from a 14 night Singapore repositioning sailing on 5 November 2015. Throughout the season, she will cruise the South Pacific and Fiji, as well as a 7 night Tasmania cruise featuring an overnight stay in Hobart, plus an 8 night Queensland cruise, before departing Sydney on 16April 2016 on a 14 night repositioning cruise to Singapore.

Radiance of the Seas will also offer a variety of itineraries to the South Pacific, New Zealand and around Australia during her 2015/2016 season. Cruises range from 8 to 14 night South Pacific itineraries to two 16 night sailings Round Australia’s Top End and Round Australia’s Bottom End from Sydney and Fremantle. There will also be 4 and 6 night sampler cruises, a 7 night Tasmania cruise plus a 10 night Queensland cruise, as well as two combinable trans-Pacific crossings between Vancouver, Hawaii and Sydney in September 2015 and April 2016.

All three ships will have undergone approximately $200 million worth of renovations by the time they arrive in Sydney.

Atrium – Radiance of the Seas

Atrium – Radiance of the Seas

Brisbane will become Royal Caribbean International’s second Australian homeport when Legend of the Seas arrives in December 2015 for the 2015/2016 five months summer cruise season, bringing their Australian fleet to an unprecedented four ships. This 2,000 guest ship will meet the growing demand from both Australian and international cruisers wishing to experience world class cruising in Queensland and the South Pacific. At 70,000 tons, she is one of the largest superliners able to navigate the Brisbane River, docking at Brisbane Cruise Terminal at Portside Wharf.

Following an extensive $50 million revitalisation in 2013, Legend of the Seas has a central atrium with an acrobatic aerial show, rock climbing wall, mini golf course, an indoor swimming pool, babies nursery and multiple specialty dining venues including a Sushi restaurant and 12 seat private dining room. Other features include a two-deck grand dining room, 800 seat theatre, the Vitality Spa & Fitness centre, a beauty salon and a shopping arcade.

The addition of Legend of the Seas, along with the recent announcement that Explorer of the Seas will replace Rhapsody of the Seas, represents a total capacity increase in Australia of 47 per cent.

Sandra Tiltman   Photos: John Pond