East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil

Griffith University: Integrity 20 and Arts Projects Australia presents East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil. An acclaimed piece inspired by human rights lawyer Philippe Sands’ prize-winning book “East West Street”, which explores the origins of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Focussing on the remarkable, connected stories of his grandfather and three key individuals in the Nuremberg Trials – Cambridge academic Hersch Lauterpacht, Polish prosecutor Raphael Lemkin, and Hitler’s lawyer Hans Frank – the performance is based on the words, images and music that connected the men, from Bach and Beethoven, to Rachmaninov and Leonard Cohen.

This extraordinary work is narrated by Sands and award-winning German actress Katja Riemann, accompanied by leading bass-baritone Laurent Naouriand renowned jazz pianist Guillaume de Chassy and is directed by one of Britain’s leading young opera director, Nina Brazier.

It is now accepted that governments can no longer treat citizens as they wish. International law imposes constraints, a consequence of hard-fought efforts over many decades. After the Second World War a new system of rules emerged to prevent killing and other forms of mistreatment. At their heart are the crime of ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’, to protect groups and individuals. Intended to protect human dignity, these developments are the consequence of acts of many individuals.

Philippe Sands’ A Song of Good & Evil offers new insights into the conflict and connections between three men at the heart of the Nuremberg trial – Cambridge academic Hersch Lauterpacht, Polish prosecutor Raphael Lemkin, and Hitler’s lawyer Hans Frank, uncovering the connections and conflict between them through the passion for music they shared.

A personal exploration of the origins of modern justice and the fate of individuals and groups, in images, narrative and music excerpts from Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Paul Mizraki and Leonard Cohen, performed by acclaimed Bass Baritone Laurent Naouri and renowned Jazz Pianist Guillaume de Chassy. A Song of Good & Evil draws on material from his book, published by Alfred Knopf in 2016, part of a quartet of works.

FROM THE GUARDIAN: ‘…as the trial proceeded, Lauterpacht would repair to listen to his favourite piece of music, from which he took inspiration for this onerous task: St Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. Meanwhile, Frank, in his cell, discussed with the prison psychiatrist and summoned up in his head – seeking not only solace but affirmation – St Matthew Passion.’

Read more of The Guardian’s piece on East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil

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