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Claudia Stevens Hosts 'An Evening with Madame F' to Remember Holocaust

April 1, 2004

[ Claudia Stevens Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Claudia Stevens -- performance artist, singer, and composer -- will perform a one-woman piece about the Holocaust at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, in Sanborn Hall's Jemison Auditorium. The performance is free and open to the public.

An Evening with Madame F will explore the life and death experience of music performance in concentration camps, drawing on survivor accounts including that of Fania Fenelon, who performed in the woman's orchestra at Auschwitz. As a pianist-singer-actress, Stevens will take on the persona of an elderly concentration camp survivor evoking the psychological and emotional challenges confronting Madame F when, as a young musician, she and others created music while their fellow concentration camp prisoners were murdered.

An Evening with Madame F incorporates music actually played and sung by women musicians at Auschwitz as well as first-hand accounts. Stevens herself is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. She last appeared at OWU in 2002 in A Table Before Me, a musical drama inspired by Stevens's grandfather's correspondence with the Secret Police.

"Claudia Stevens is multi-talented," says Marty Kalb, OWU Professor of Fine Arts, who coordinated Steven's last visit to OWU. "Her performances ask her audience to consider how people deal with extraordinary stress and how all of us in our own individual ways seek to understand who we are. Stevens's performances are poignant, touching, and enlightening."

Stevens is a graduate of Vassar College, the University of California at Berkeley, and Boston University. She has held academic, conducting, and performing arts positions at Williams College, the University of Richmond, and the College of William and Mary. Stevens regularly performs throughout the nation and at many leading universities. She is a recognized scholar of Robert Schumann as well as 20th-century American music.

An Evening with Madame F is sponsored by the OWU Chaplain's Office with additional support from the Department of Music and the Department of Theater and Dance. For more information, call 740-368-3335.