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26 April 2017 (Wed), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera Theatre - Opera and Concert Hall - Opera Grigory Frid "The Diary of Anne Frank" mono-opera

Running time: 1 hour

Schedule for Grigory Frid "The Diary of Anne Frank" mono-opera 2017/2018

Conductor: Zaurbek Gugkaev
Soprano: Natalia Pavlova

Musical Preparation: Larisa Gergieva
Costume Designer: Tatiana Mashkova
Director: Mstislav Pentkovsky
Composer: Grigory Frid

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Opera company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera

Premiere of this production: 28 January 2017

The Diary of Anne Frank is a monodrama in 21 scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra, composed in 1968 and first performed in 1972. The music and libretto are by Grigory Frid, after the eponymous diary.

Grigory Samuilovich Frid (1915–2012) lived a long life, actively working as a composer, painter, publicist-writer, author and manager of educational projects, amongst which the most important was the Musical Youth Club (known simply as Frid's club) of the Moscow Union of Composers. Many know his name from their childhood and from the cover of the popular book Music! Music? Music... and Youth.

His legacy, in addition to symphony and chamber works, includes two mono-operas, both on a "Dutch" theme: Letters of van Gogh and The Diary of Anne Frank. The latter was written by the Jewish composer after the diary of the Jewish girl who became one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust in the West – during the years of stagnation under Brezhnev and State anti-semitism in the USSR its fate was to be rather different. Apropos, as the composer himself recalled when he wrote The Diary in 1969, he had no hopes that the opera would be staged in the Soviet Union – the literary source had been published in Russian only thirteen years after its first publication in Europe, while in the late 1960s came a cessation of Soviet-Israeli diplomatic relations and the wholesale repatriation of Jews from the Soviet Union.

First performed (with piano accompaniment) by the singer Nadezhda Yurieva in 1972 at the Moscow House of Composers, in the USSR The Diary of Anne Frank was only sung in concert in Kislovodsk and Sverdlovsk, and staged as an opera in Voronezh and Chișinău. However, the opera won unusual popularity in the USA, became firmly established in the repertoires of theatres and concert halls in Germany and was staged in Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Slovenia and The Netherlands. This season there will be premieres of the mono-opera in cities in Switzerland and Germany. When the composer first read the thirteen-year-old girl's diary he was amazed, and soon, he recalled, "came the idea that he had to write an opera based on this opus. Because it was already a finished libretto! Although how can you say finished? of the two hundred and thirty pages I had to come up with twelve or thirteen." Moreover, the composer did not change a single word in the document, merely condensing it into tewnty-one short episodes grouped into four scenes. The music, following the spontaneous – almost "childish" – text conveys the heroine's emotional states, from joy to despair, her free spirit and moral strength and even her teenage humour. The diary also contains deep thoughts in the spirit of a novel about growing up, reflections on the first emergent romantic feelings and vivid, grotesque sketches "from life". The music of the mono-opera embodied not only internal psychological suffering but also echoes of surrounding life itself ("Westertoren") and "portraits" of the neighbours also forced into confinement (her father, mother, sister, Peter and Mr and Mrs van Daan) and sound landscapes.

The literary Diary of Anne Frank has been translated into sixty-five (!) languages. Since its first publication there have been over thiry-five million copies produced. A play based on the diary won the Pulitzer Prize and it has been screened several times. Grigory Frid's opera has been the first musical treatment of the plot and the only one in opera. 
Yulia Broido


The 13-year-old Anne Frank is hiding with her family in a house in Amsterdam from July 1942 until their arrest in August 1944. She describes the people she sees, her different moods, and her emotions in her diary, telling of her pleasure at a birthday gift, or the sight of blue sky from her window, or her awakening attraction for Peter, but also her fear and loneliness.

Frid wrote his own libretto for the work, structuring the original texts to provide a rich and varied portrait of Anne and the people around her in 21 brief scenes. The opera lasts one hour.


1. Prelude


3. School

4. Conversation with Father

5. Summons to the Gestapo

6. The Hiding Place / The Bell Tower West

7. At the Little Window

8. I Was Told

9. Despair

10. Memory

11. Dream

12. Interlude

13. Duet of Mr and Mrs Van Daan

14. Thieves

15. Recitative

16. I Think of Peter

17. On the Russian Front

18. Razzia

19. Loneliness

20. Passacaglia

21. Finale


The opera, composed in 1968, was first performed with piano accompaniment at the All-Union House of Composers in Moscow on either 17 or 18 May 1972.

Schedule for Grigory Frid "The Diary of Anne Frank" mono-opera 2017/2018

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