Anne Frank’s Diary to be Brought to Musical Life

The Ottawa Choral Society will present British composer James Whitbourn's "Annelies," based entirely on the text of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, written for soprano, choir, and chamber quartet

(Photo courtesy: Ottawa Choral Society)


The Diary of Anne Frank is a stark reminder of the harsh consequences of war and the innocent lives which are adversely affected by it. The historic document was written between 1942-44 and tells Anne's story as a young Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis with her family.

The Ottawa Choral Society wrote on their website, "From the bleak confinement of her family’s hiding place, she composed a moving account of her struggle to live, as well as an affirmation of the essential beauty of existence."

Composer James Whitbourn’s "Annelies" brings to life an adaptation of the diary of Anne Frank through a large-scale choral work written in 14 movements, with lyrics by Melanie Challenger. Performing alongside Ottawa’s symphonic chorus will be Aline Kutan (soprano), Ross Edwards (clarinet), Marjolaine Lambert (violin), Timothy McCoy (cello) and Andrew Tunis (piano).

The single performance will take place at 3 p.m. on March 6, 2022, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 20 Fairmont Ave., Ottawa. Book your tickets here.

Andrew Hon, Associate Director of the Ottawa Choral Society, commented: “The Choral Society is delighted to present this wonderful work for the first time in Ottawa. This will be only our second live performance since the partial relaxation of COVID health protocols, and we believe the musical portrayal of Anne’s struggles in seclusion with her family will resonate with pandemic-weary audiences.”

"Our experiences cannot of course be compared to the human toll of the Holocaust. Yet a tale of how the human spirit can prevail in the worst isolation strikes a compelling chord in our COVID-afflicted times. Anne wrote not only of her struggle to survive, but also of the essential beauty of existence.”