Annelies – A Moving Performance

Not a sound was heard at Rodef Shalom on Saturday night during the Mendelssohn Choir’s moving performance of Annelies, James Whitbourn’s choral setting of The Diary of a Young Girl.  Music Director Matthew Mehaffey conducted the choir with sensitivity and nuance, while soprano soloist Amelia D’Arcy brought Anne Frank’s words to life.  The concert was followed by a talkback with Amelia, Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Aaron Bisno, and several survivors, which was just as well attended as the performance.

If you attended the concert, please share your thoughts with a comment on this post.

Click to see a photo gallery of the performance.  All photographs are courtesy of Alisa Garin Photography.


  1. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL although thought provoking! If not recorded, it should have been. It is a masterpiece!

  2. The performance was very moving, brought the emotions of a teenager- in- hiding for her life and that of her family dramatically to the audience which was spellbound. My daughter’s name is Anneliese, so we were even more emotionally involved feeling the pain ,fear and love of her name sake. So very glad and honored to have attended this outstanding/meaningful performance…Thank You.

    Noreen and Anneliese Grimm
  3. I feel very honored to have been in attendance. The always impressive Mendelssohn Choir, under the direction of Matthew Mehaffey, sang with sensitivity and reverence. Soloist Amelia D’Arcy beautifully brought to life in song the thoughts and emotions of Anneliese. It was obvious how much emotion everyone was feeling. The performances by clarinetist Daniel McKelway, violinist Sarah O’Boyle, pianist Dimitri Papadimitriou, and cellist Aron Zelkowicz were sensitive and wonderful. It was impossible to applaud the songs during the performance, for they were too powerful and solemn. But when the last note faded from the room, the applause was spontaneous and rousing. There was so much emotion and appreciation to convey to the choir and musicians. Everyone stood, and it seemed no one wanted to stop the ovation.

    Then afterward, the discussion, with Auschwitz Camp Survivor Judah Samet and Hidden Survivor Dr. Yolanda Avram Willis, brought to life in the room some of both aspects of the life of Anne Frank, hiding from the Nazis and being in a concentration camp.

    I will never forget this amazing evening. And I want to thank each and every person who made it possible.


    Noel Squitieri
  4. Beautiful and very moving! Thank you.

  5. My friends and I were very moved by the wonderful performance of “Annelies”. One person commented that Amelia D’Arcy even looked like what she imagined Anne Frank would have grown up to become. Thank you for this beautiful performance of an amazing new work.

    Rita Hostetter