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  • Writer's pictureEmma Collison

Heartfelt, moving theatre will inspire, move and educate

Barry French and Ben Adler

Stories from the Violins of Hope

Moving, true stories

Until 18 June at Bondi Pavilion Theatre Tickets: $20 - $75 + BF

Tickets: @

Writers for the Stories from the Violins of Hope, both based in LA, have arrived in Sydney, Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum and Ronda Spinkak, and the season is under way. Live music is curated by Dr Noreen Green, founder and conductor of the Los Angles Jewish Symphony, who is also in Sydney.

The famed Violins of Hope have featured in books, print, film and television around the world and are now in a new stage production, adapted from the original filmed play in the US of the same name.

Moving and pertinent true stories track the many violins, which were saved during and after World War II by a family of luthiers, the Weinsteins.

Musicians who perished cannot speak anymore, but their violins give voice to their stories. The families are gone, but their violins will speak for them for generations to come.... the railway worker who rescued a violin thrown from a train bound for a concentration camp and after the war, honours its owner’s last wish…the father who calls his violin “Friend’ because playing it for food saved his family from starvation….

Barry playing the luthier when he was younger and falling in love
Barry French and Kate Bookallil

Violinists will perform on one of two violins. whose owners were connected to the Holocaust. For the first two weeks of the season, Joyce Vanderveen'violin, was flown in from the US especially for the play.. She was a high-profile ballerina/actor who escaped Amsterdam. During the last week of the production the violinist will perform on one owned by a family who emigrated to Oz as a result of the Holocaust, Emanuel Fisher, a German Jew who played with the Weintraub Syncopators, who fled Germany in 1936 to settle in Sydney.

The production is presented by Moira Blumenthal Productions and Shalom, Set Design by Tom Bannerman, Costume Design by Andrea Tam and direction by Moira Blumenthal. The cast includes actors Barry French, Laurence Coy, Kate Bookallil, Sophie Gregg and Lloyd Allison-Young. Ben Adler or Leo Novikov are performing live on violina and Dr Noreen Green or Ben Burton live on piano.

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