Joel Mandelbaum and Susan Fox’s ‘The Village’ to Make European Premiere

By Logan Martell

Feb. 17, 2023, will see the European premiere of composer Joel Mandelbaum and librettist Susan Fox’s “The Village.”

Held at Hauptkirche St. Katharinen in Hamburg, Germany, this work is set in a village in Normandy in 1942 and follows a young boy named David who was forced to relocate by his mother after the Nazi invasion of Paris.

Presented by SkyCradle and Wirklichmaker e.V., the production is music directed by Alexander Mottok, with choir preparation by Corinna and Clemens Bergemann and choreography by Anna Martens and Alina Groder. Among the cast will be Kathryn Wieckhorst as Maman, Noah von Rom as David, Anna-Louise Costello as Madame Bernaud, Stephen Karelin as The Mayor, Friederike Bauer as Sophie, WeiHsi Hu as Antoine, and Demetrios Jussi Tsinopoulos as The Priest, among others. The performance will also feature the Cantemus Children’s Choir Hamburg, Musica Viva Chamber Choir, and Collegium Musicum Lübeck.

“The Village” will run for two performances, with the second on February 18. Supported in part by the US and French Consul Generals, there will also be an exhibition with artistic and historical testimonies of those who were present, such as brothers Stephen and Philip Orenstein, on whose memoirs the work is based.