FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2017
The Sousa Mendes Foundation and the Utah Youth Orchestras and Ensembles present a performance in the Mormon Tabernacle of the oratorio Circular 14: The Apotheosis of Aristides by Neely Bruce. This free concert, conducted by the world-renowned conductor Barlow Bradford, will be held on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day of 2018. The event is part of the Temple Square Concert Series and is free and open to the public.
The piece tells the dramatic true story of the Holocaust hero Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul General in Bordeaux, who saved thousands of lives in the spring of 1940 by issuing Portuguese visas to refugees desperate to escape Nazi-occupied France. From Portugal these refugees boarded ships to freedom in the United States and other final destinations. The visas from Sousa Mendes saved their lives and showed how one person can make a difference. But Sousa Mendes was punished by his government for defying a decree called “Circular 14” that forbade the issuance of visas to the majority of refugees. He died in poverty and disgrace, erased from history. But now this “unsung” hero is being “sung” — and his story told.
The Mayor of Salt Lake County, Ben McAdams, will deliver opening remarks. “This concert promises to be a spiritually powerful remembrance of how an ordinary man performed extraordinary acts to defy evil. It is our responsibility and sacred duty as citizens to ‘never forget’ the Holocaust, its toll on the world and how nations rallied to defeat the Nazis,” said Mayor McAdams.
Soloists include David Sauer, tenor (Aristides de Sousa Mendes), Michelle Pedersen, soprano (Angelina), Andrew Neumayer, baritone (Rabbi Kruger), Adam Griffiths, tenor (Salazar), and Elizabeth Peters, soprano (Andrée Cibial). The narrator is the actor Michel Gill (César). Featuring the University of Utah Chamber Choir, the University of Utah A Cappella Choir, and seven high school choirs from across the state: Syracuse High School (Syracuse, UT), Pineview High School (St. George, UT), American Heritage School (American Fork, UT), Alta High School (Sandy, UT), Westlake High School (Saratoga Springs, UT), Woods Cross High School (Woods Cross, UT), and Hillcrest High School (Midvale, UT). An accompanying video montage of historic images is by Carole Kim. The orchestral musicians are being prepared by Barbara Scowcroft, Music Director of the Utah Youth Orchestras and Ensembles.
The piece was performed with a reduced ensemble in Los Angeles in 2016, but this will be the first performance of the definitive version with full orchestra. In attendance will be Dr. Daniel Mattis, a Sousa Mendes visa recipient living in Utah, and two of Sousa Mendes’s grandsons: Gerald Mendes and Aristides Mendes, one of whom also lives in Utah.
Sponsors include: The Lynn and Richard Bleil Charitable Foundation, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Foundation, the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the John and Marcia Price Family Foundation, Transworld Business Advisors of Utah County, the United Jewish Federation of Utah, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Zions Bank, and numerous individual donors.
For artist bios and information about the piece and composer, please click here.
For media inquiries, please contact: Mary Kay Lazarus Public Relations, 801-328-8899, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entrance is free, but tickets are required, and are available at www.tinyurl.com/circular14 and pressing OBTAIN TICKETS HERE in the right-hand column, or by calling 1-801-570-0080 or 1-866-537-8457 (1-866-LDS-TIKS), or by coming to the Tabernacle Ticket Office window in person.