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Theater and music performances

記事ID:0001830 更新日:2020年11月30日更新 印刷ページ表示 大きな文字で印刷ページ表示 <外部リンク>

In addition to sports, prisoners also enjoyed theater and music performances. A prisoners’ band was formed at the camp and musical instruments were prepared. These events were held in the barracks, which did not provide much space. Later, an outdoor stage was set up with audience seats.

“Here at Aonogahara, we held an event called Variety Evening and gave theatrical performances several times, especially The Broken Jug (Der zerbrochene Krug in German), Minna von Barnhelm and one-act plays. The barracks had a maximum audience capacity of 250 by cramming the people in the worst case. The barracks was really only large enough to accommodate half that number. Once a certain play was performed, although I have forgotten the name. The stage in the barracks was too small, so we made preparations to perform all plays outdoors. The room for the roll calls was perfect for the theater. The slope went down toward the kitchen from there. We set the stage in the space in front of the kitchen, arranged the barracks chairs and finished preparing the audience seats. After we completed everything from setting the stage to the stage design, a commander insisted that we hold the event at the barracks and he forbid outdoor performances. We tried to persuade him that the barracks was not large enough for the event. When we threatened him with cancelling the event, he gave in. He said that such event was fundamentally unacceptable but it would be permitted just this once. This is because he had issued an invitation to the performance to the officer of a regiment that was conducting a military exercise at Aonogahara.”
(From Kersten’s Diary)

image: A theatrical play in the barracks
Photo: A theatrical play in the barracks (courtesy of Mr. Dieter Linke)


image: The stage and audience seats set outdoors
Photo: The stage and audience seats set outdoors (courtesy of Mr. Dieter Linke)


image: The play The Broken Jug
Photo: The play The Broken Jug (courtesy of Mr. Dieter Linke)


image: The play Dancing Shoes
Photo: The play Dancing Shoes (courtesy of Mr. Dieter Linke)


image: Impersonating prisoners
Photo: Impersonating prisoners


image:A flier for Variety Evening
A flier for Variety Evening[PDFファイル/647KB](courtesy of Dirk van der Raan) 

 

The Broken Jug, which was performed by prisoners, is a comedy by German playwright Heinrich von Kleist and was first performed in 1808. Minna von Barnhelm is a romantic comedy by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a German Enlightenment philosopher and writer in the 18th century. These were popular programs in those days.

In addition, what kind of event was Variety Evening? A flier shows that a band concert was held in addition to a vocal solo, a reading and a short play.

image:A flier for a “Charity Concert”
A flier for a “Charity Concert”[PDFファイル/315KB] 

 

In addition, a “Charity Concert” was held on March 30, 1919. As reflected by the phrase “For comrades in arms who are in a difficult predicament in East Siberia,” this event was dedicated to compatriots interned at Siberian camps due to the Russian Revolution of 1917. The following programs were performed at this concert.

  1. The Overture to the Opera Raymond
  2. Reverie
  3. Solvajg’s Song (from the theater music for Peer Gynt)
  4. The Overture of the Opera Norma
  5. Pilgrim’s Chorus (from the Opera Tannhäuser)
  6. March No. 1 (Three Marches Militaires)

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