West Bloomfield, MI, October 06, 2023 – This uplifting World Premiere event includes a screening of David Hoffert’s acclaimed documentary film, The Rhapsody, about composer and Holocaust survivor Leo Spellman who, at the age of 98, set out on a riveting and emotional journey towards artistic liberation, followed by a live performance of Leo Spellman’s 24-minute symphonic masterpiece, “Rhapsody xxxx-xxxx.”
This is the first time anywhere that the film The Rhapsody will be paired with Leo Spellman’s symphonic piece that was lost and forgotten for more than 50 years, performed by MSU Symphony, conducted by Octavio Más-Arocas, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Orchestras at Michigan State University.
The event at The Berman on October 15 opens with a pre-talk at 2:15 featuring Amy Simon, William and Audrey Farber Family Endowed Chair in Holocaust Studies and European Jewish History, MSU’s Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel, James Madison College, and Department of History. The Berman program concludes with a talkback with the film’s producers, Paul and Brenda Hoffert, moderated by Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of The Zekelman Holocaust Center.
Unfolding like a thriller, The Rhapsody chronicles composer and Holocaust survivor Leo Spellman’s secret wartime diary and long-lost orchestral masterpiece in a framework that brings his remarkable tale of survival to life. His eighteen months in hiding, fueled by fear, heroic resistance, and raw guts, are portrayed through bold artwork and animation narrated by award-winning actor Stephen Fry.
The documentary features concert performances in Canada and Poland, rare archival footage, and an uplifting finale that recognizes Spellman’s legacy in the Polish town where he narrowly escaped death.
The Berman is located at The J, 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield. Tickets for Sunday, October 15, are $18 each and can be purchased by visiting https://theberman.org/.
For more information, please text or call: (xxx) xxx-xxxx.