The opera is a true story about a group of Dutch Jews who are deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the last year of World War II. Surrounded by horrors of the Holocaust, Jaap and Manja Polak’s already fragile marriage dissolves as he turns his attentions to Ina Soep. The couple struggles to survive at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, while surrounded by torture, disease, starvation, and death. The secret lovers exchange passionate letters written with stolen pencil stubs, keeping their hopes and hearts alive in a time of darkness.
Andrew Garland sings The Gallows Tree:
In a happy ending to the real life story, Jaap and Ina Polak stayed married for 70 years after surviving the horrors of the concentration camp!
The Massachusetts native moved to Colorado last year to join the voice faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In February, Garland will join Camerata Pacifica for a series of lieder recitals in California with accompanist Warren Jones in Ventura, San Marino and Santa Barbara.