Fairfield University's Center for Judaic Studies presents Claudia Stevens in "An Evening with Madame F"


Image: Madame FThe horror and the guilt experienced by Fania Fenelon and other Jewish musicians confined to concentration camps during World War II is the subject of a musical and dramatic performance to be given Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. "An Evening with Madame F," written and directed by pianist/singer/actress Claudia Stevens, will be held in the Kelley Auditorium of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The event is sponsored by the university's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies. A discussion will follow the performance.

Fenelon, a French cabaret singer, was a member of an all-female orchestra in the Auschwitz death camp. By playing for their captors, she and other members earned a better chance at survival, but were also accused of treason by fellow prisoners. Stevens' narrative, with music composed and arranged by Fred Cohen, is interspersed with segments of songs and numbers that were actually played in the concentration camps. "Madame F" was commissioned by the Richmond Jewish Federation, and has been the centerpiece of Holocaust and Kristallnacht observances in more than 90 communities across the country.

Stevens, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, was educated at Vassar College and the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, and holds a doctorate in piano from Boston University. Her recitals and dramatic performances have been presented at New York City's Carnegie Recital Hall and Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center, and she has received numerous awards, including grants from the International Theatre Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Her recent engagements include the Baltimore Theater Project, the "Fast Forward" series in Virginia and the Sandglass Theater in Vermont.

The Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies is under the direction of Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D. "An Evening with Madame F" is free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested. For information or to reserve a seat, call Judaic Studies at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 5, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 166