Composer/Conductor: Carl Davis
Libretto: Hiawyn Oram
Director: Pamela Howard
Staged in Chichester Cathedral on January 27th 2016 to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 featuring members of Chichester Festival Theatre Youth Theatre, children’s choir from Central Church of England Junior School Chichester, University of Chichester Orchestra and Choir.
A co-operation between Chichester Cathedral and Chichester University History Department, in aid of ‘Save the Children’
Programme conceived and directed by Pamela Howard who says :-
“This year the official theme for Holocaust Memorial Day was ‘Don’t Stand By” - the appropriate moment to pay tribute to the late Sir Nicholas Winton who died in 2015 aged 106, and who, in 1938 organised 6 trains from Prague to London and saved the lives of over 600 children. Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines was one of those children, and
told her story, leading this tribute. She was followed by
Councillor Clare Apel, reading for her Canadian cousin
Helenka Eisenger who was also on one of the trains, in a
moving short story “I just ate my Apple.” The Chichester
University Orchestra conducted by Crispin Ward played 5
pieces by Jewish composers representing the countries that the
trains passed through. Finally Carl Davis’s wonderful oratorio for
children (children’s choirs conducted by Lisa Pow) formed the
2nd half of the event, concluded by Rabbi Eili Tikvah Sarah from
Brighton and Hove Liberal and Progessive synagogue. The event
raised just over £5,000 in donations for Save the Children “It was a
memorable event, made possible by the dedication of all involved
in this important event.”
Some selected comments from audiences: -
Thank you so very much for inviting us to such a moving experience in the Cathedral. It brought a diverse group of people to this commemorative event to consider and reflect upon past history and the present. If only you all could perform at the European Parliament...that would be an idea! That said, congratulations to all the performing artists. A first class orchestra, and in particular the Cellist solo was outstanding. The performance and realistic appearance of the Kinder was so very special, and will remain in our memory.
You must surely have been much involved in this remarkable and so moving production. Well done indeed. I had thought to seek you out afterwards but the idea that one had to fight one's way through the crush of people heading for the cloisters after such a performance was too much. There was too much to think about. And Thinking I have been doing.
Your Holocaust Memorial Day celebration was a triumph. We were excited, moved, impressed, amazed and fulfilled all in one event. Everything worked like clockwork and we could sense the invisible if firm hand of PH in it all! Carl’s music was so stimulating and perfect, the words of Last Train so simple but dramatic, the children’s performances perfect and committed.
I have directed scores of children through 30 years and I have seldom if ever, come across young performers with such concentration, idea of ensemble and sheer ability.
The only sadness I feel is that that production will only be seen just the once. It deserves so much more.
Thank you so much for last night’s event in the Cathedral in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day and the work of Sir Nicholas Winton. It was very moving and had so much beauty in it. It brought to mind how the
children of the past - some still alive today -
can inspire the children of today as long as we, the adults of today, help them to understand how we all have our individual part to play in the positive expression of the fundamental values and beliefs that characterise us as humans. I have a small amount of insight into the effort and skill required to produce and direct such an event,
and I hope you are immensely pleased with the outcome. How wonderful that so much of what was produced last night was by children and young people! It helped re-affirm what I have tried to do with my own period of time on
the face of the earth.
Thank you for everything you have done this evening and the kind things you said about me.
The evening was a great success thanks to you!!!
That was amazing. A truly memorable production. Congratulations to you all.
So moving & beautifully thought through - every detail. Brilliant evening.
The profoundly moving performance of Last Train to Tomorrow. To see our local children bringing to life the stories of those survivors, to watch Carl Davis conducting his own composition, to talk to Hiawyn Oram, the writer, and to listen to the wonderful Rabbi Elli Sarah … to be there was a privilege and an inspiration.
Wow – that was some evening. Truly memorable. The service and performance gave out a very strong and needed message for today. I do hope Save The Children did very well from it for their causes. From the Conductors to the youngest child our congratulations and gratitude.
Congratulations for such a moving evening last night. It was a very poignant and memorable evening, and gave me much to think about.
You and Carl were fantastic. Your oratorio got the standing ovation it deserved. The children were well rehearsed, costume brilliant. I love how you prowl like a panther with sang-froid.
I just wanted to congratulate you on an amazing and moving evening last night. It’s so wonderful that our young people had the opportunity to work on such a remarkable piece and I know they all thoroughly enjoyed working with you, Jill, Crispin and, of course, Carl Davis. Thank you so much for everything you did for them, I think it is an experience they won’t forget in a hurry.
A wonderful, moving evening,
Carole and I hugely enjoyed and were moved by your production of “The Last Train to Tomorrow”
I find it difficult to find words to fully express how GENUINE the whole thing was. Definitely one of the best stage events I have ever seen!
I cannot tell you how pleased and privileged
I feel to have been part of the Holocaust Memorial concert.