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Tags: Charlotte Salomon
Charlotte Salomon was a German Jewish artist from a prosperous Berlin family—her father was a surgeon and her stepmother a successful opera and concert singer. Salomon was one the few Jews to be admitted into the Berlin Academy of Art when the Nazis came to power. She fled to the south of France with her grandparents in 1939 following the outbreak of WWII, where she spent her time in exile creating over 1, 300 watercolor paintings. In 1943 at age 26, she was captured and sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed. Her diary, Leben? Oder Theatre?, on which the opera is based, is itself a part fiction and part non-fiction “Singspiel” or “song-play.”
This musical is based on Charlotte Salomon’s Life? or Theater? (Viking Press, 1981). She grew up in Berlin in the 1920s and died in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 26. In 1939, in refuge in France, she discovered the truth about a series of suicides in her family. To make sense of her existence she began to paint Life? or Theater? with more than 800 paintings, text, and musical references. Music by Gary Fagin. The production follows Charlotte’s story.
Charlotte Salomon grew up in Berlin in the twenties, and died in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 26. In 1939, in refuge in France, she discovers the truth about a lineage of suicides in her family. To make sense of her existence she begins to paint Life? or Theater?, over 800 paintings with text and musical references. The musical follows Charlotte’s journey towards life, beginning and ending in the South of France in the room where she is struggling to give birth to Life? or Theater?.
Based on the experiences of young German-Jewish artist, Charlotte Saloman, who painted over 1,300 pieces of art in less than two years before she was transported to Auschwitz in 1943. She was captured while hiding from the Nazis in the South of France and transported to the camp where she died at age 26. The play contrasts the dark journey to Auschwitz with the colorful imagery of her paintings.
One-woman play charting the relationship between actress Penny Kreitzer (co-author of the play), the artist Charlotte Salomon, and Charlotte's stepmother Paula Salomon-Lindberg, a renowned contralto and co-founder of The Kulturbund, the Nazi sanctioned Jewish Theatre in Berlin.
The play recounts the experiences of two women: Charlotte Delbo and Charlotte Salomon, who were both sent to Auschwitz during World War II. Charlotte Salomon was a young German Jewish artist who fled to France following the outbreak of war, where she created over one thousand paintings documenting her exile. She was eventually captured and died in Auschwitz at age 26. Charlotte Delbo was a French Christian writer well known for her memoirs and plays documenting her time as a prisoner in Auschwitz. While both Charlottes were imprisoned in the camp, they ultimately did not share the same fate and only Delbo survived.
Born in Berlin in 1917, Charlotte Salomon grew up in an increasingly tense world. With the rise of Nazism and as family secrets unravel, Unwrapped Gifts asks the question: can art save one’s soul? A portrait emerges of a woman and artist haunted by death, unattainable love, and a world at the abyss. Out of the blackness surrounding her, Charlotte Salomon found light and hope.