Imaginair by La Monnaie Opera to Present Opera About Holocaust Survivor

By David Salazar

Imaginair by La Monnaie Opera will present PUSH on Oct. 3 in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium.

The opera by composer Howard Moody explores the true story of Simon Gronowski’s escape from death at Auschwitz in 1943. He was rescued by three members of the Belgian Resistance who stopped a Nazi train. During the chaos that ensued, Gronowski’s mother pushed him off the train, sacrificing herself in the process. She was ultimately killed three days later at Auschwitz.

The opera had its premiere in 2015 at Glyndebourne and was performed as a Community Opera with a mix of professional singers and choirs as well as amateur choirs from local schools and villages.

The opera had its La Monnaie premiere in 2019 in the presence of Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

The Oct. 3 performance will take place 80 years after Simon’s life was saved on that fateful day.