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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, by Ricky Ian Gordon

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene / New York / Stage

Italy is in the tightening grip of Mussolini and the Fascists. Beautiful young Jewish aristocrats in Ferrara, once the seat of the illustrious Renaissance House of Este, bury their heads in the sand, cultivate their garden, and while away afternoons at the informal private racquet club in their very own backyard. Giorgio Bassani’s much-praised novel, published in 1962, lit up the screen as adapted by Vittorio De Sica, winning an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Now Ricky Ian Gordon makes the story sing. For the premiere, the recently reborn New York City Opera teams up with the 107-year-old National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene—according to its website not only the longest-consecutively-producing Yiddish theater company anywhere but also the longest-consecutively producing performing-arts institution in the United States. Can this be true? The Boston Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1881, the Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1880, the Handel & Haydn Society in 1815, 12 years before the death of Beethoven. Historians, please weigh in. —M.G.

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene 36 Battery Pl 4th floor, , NY, New York, NY 10280
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