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In Terezin, 14 operas were
staged: The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Bastien and Bastienne by
Children and Kind Animals Conquer the Evil
Brundibar's plot is very simple. Pepechek and Hanichka's mother gets sick, and the family has no money to buy milk. Having learned about this, the neighborhood children make a street performance and collect the money. All of a sudden, the evil organ-grinder Brundibar appears and steals the money. Good animals Ц a dog, a cat and a sparrow Ц come to children's rescue, find the thief and return the money back to the children. The triumph of Good is complete.
Brundibar was played by 14-year-old Jan Trechlinger. He offered himself for this part. Brundibar was a negative character but Jan was so appealing in his acting that he won the full sympathy of the audience. He became everybody's pet, cooks gave him two helpings for his food coupon. Since he was too short, he failed to pass the selection in AuschwitzЕ
The first performance of Brundibar took place on 23 October, 1943, and became a great event in camp's cultural life. Frantishek Zelenka made scenery, including shields with animals' muzzles. Poking their faces into holes, the children became cats and sparrows. Brundibar was shown 55 times. E.M.