• A chamber opera (for 8 singers and a chamber ensemble of 14 players) Libretto: Yael Ronen

  • Based on the diary of Dr. Baruch Milch, the composer's father and tells her story as 2nd generation to Holocaust survivors.

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  • World premiere: Staatstheater Braunschweig, Germany, 2010 (Commission), stage director: Ido Ricklin.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwOHn1ZdCYM

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlCX9MQsdTg

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKbwPNDocSM

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU9ay67Bh3c

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  • Israeli premiere: Tel-Aviv, 2014, stage director: Ido Ricklin.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_3rsvbEOxM

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amMCCkuV_14

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-WIpLSiOAw

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  • Premiere: Stadttheater Fuerth, Germany, 2015, stage director: Bruno Berger-Gosrki.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2GnUzBGj1g

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  • Reviews: (Selection)

  •  "What awaits the audience is first and foremost a work that grips you by the throat, as well as being a most personal piece… a work whose lack of sentimentality inspires amazement. …"

    Die Welt, By Willi Kramer, 26/2/10

  • The composer Ella Milch - Sheriff succeeds the conversion of the diary of her father to a chamber opera . It is a poignant memento for the survivors of the Shoah."

    Eva-Elisabeth Fischer, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 15.6.2015

    "Exciting, averting

    The enormously varied composition of Ella Milch-Sheriff energetically sweeping all moods of sentimentality aside, but looking for the big emotion. 

    A memorable evening."

    Dieter Stoll, Die Deutsche Buehne, 15.6.2015

    "With her chamber opera "Baruch silence" formed Ella Milch-Sheriff an equally poignant and musically convincing answer."

    Bayerischer Rundfunk Klassik, 15.6.2015

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    Synopsis

     Baruch's Silence - Synopsis of each scene:

    Scene 1: A daughter in Israel returns to her parent's house after they are gone. The memories starts to come back to her and the "ghosts" of the house are awakened. The father's "10 commandments" provoke and torture her. Among the ghosts is a child. She does not know who he is. An imaginary talk between the daughter and her parents raises questions which were never been asked before. The ghosts remind the daughter of her fears and longings. She demands explanations from her father. Then she finds her father's diary and his will which he wanted her to find after his death.

    Scene 2: The daughter learns from the diary that her father had a family with wife and son in Poland, in 2nd World war. It is too hard for her to accept this reality and the brother that she has never known about his existence before.

    Scene 3: "On Friday, 1st September, began the end of my real life". The diary tells about the father's life as a doctor in the war and about the mothers who asked him for a medicine which will enable their children to fall in an everlasting sleep. She remembers how she liked to be ill and needed the help of her father as a doctor. Only then she felt being loved. She understands that her murdered brother won the everlasting love of her father.

    Scene 4: During the war, the father and his family were running away. The daughter gets a real impression of her father's unknown life and his relationship with his son.

    Scene 5:During their escape the child was exhausted and could not go on running. The family convinces the father to go with his brother to find a safe hiding place for them all. Whole his absence, his whole family is murdered. The father cannot forgive himself to have left his family behind and therefore to survive by himself.

    Scene 6: After the father leaves his family, he, together with his brother, is looking for a hiding place out of the city. They hear sounds of explosions and shooting which makes them go back to find that everything is erased and destroyed. When they lose hope to find any family members, they find suddenly the brother's son who managed to survive out of the whole family.

    Scene 7: The father's diary tells about the first meeting with the mother and what it meant for each one of them. The daughter becomes aware that the mother also has some terrible story behind her which she has never spoken about.

    Scene 8: The mother and her mother lost everything they had during the war. Right after the war, on their way, they meet a Russian officer who seems to want to help them but all he really wants is the young beautiful girl. The grandmother cannot prevent this rape. The daughter blames her parents for not having told her about their past. She asks herself why her father could never find consolation in is new life. He, in her mid, did not make any sin.

    Scene9: After the loss of his family the father wants revenge and to die. His brother prevents him from doing so. They find a hiding place by Ukrainian farmers and they pay him everything they have. The farmer does not accept the brother's son. He claims that the child might endanger them. The two men try to convince the farmers that the child will be quiet and behave well. The child wants permanently to go out of the pit and play with the farmer's children whose singing he hears all the time. At one point, after a few weeks in the darkness, he succeeds to go out of the pit and his father, while trying to calm him down, strangles him. The daughter's father is a silent witness to this and therefore he feels himself guilty for the rest of his life.

    Scene 10: The father's diary and its content made the daughter's attitude towards her father change. Now she can understand and forgive.

 

Baruchs Schweigen (Baruch's Silence) 2010