"significant first performances and first recordings"
-- American Record Guide, 2012

"real discoveries…are works of Jewish composers recorded for the first time."
-- Musica, July 2012

Click here for more reviews
Click here for YouTube clips

       Colors of the Diaspora comprises three historic concerts on Jewish classical song, all narrated by Regina Resnik. Ms. Resnik and author/tenor Michael Philip Davis delved into undiscovered corners of history to unearth a rich treasure of Jewish composers both celebrated and unknown. They produced the video concerts over seven years. Each program has a significant Holocaust component.

      The first program, The American Jewish Composers, honors 350 years of Jewish American history, and features A Petition to the Governor, a world premiere by John Corigliano and Willliam M. Hoffman, written especially for Regina Resnik Presents. The Hoffman-Corigliano work, and works by Seymour Barab (see photo below), Jack Gottlieb (see photo below), Simon Sargon and Ronald Senator, make up the five world premieres on this diverse program.

Regina Resnik, Michael Philip Davis,
Thirst by Seymour Barab (World Premiere)
Charles Robert Stephens, baritone,
Jeremiah on 9 / 11, by Jack Gottlieb (World Premiere)

Covert or Convert
(clockwise from bottom right):
Ms. Resnik; Vlad Iftinca, piano; Michael Philip Davis, tenor;
Darynn Zimmer, soprano; Charles Robert Stephens, baritone

The second concert, Covert or Convert, honors Jewish composers who wrote on Jewish themes in secret, often at the risk of their lives. Included are four Holocaust composers, Felix Mendelssohn, Anton Rubinstein and Otto Klemperer--whom Ms. Resnik worked with, and whose conflict of faith she recounts first-hand.

Otto Klemperer and Ms. Resnik, Vancouver, 1946

     The final concert, Crossing All Boundaries, records the Jewish experience as heard by non-Jewish composers such as Ravel, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Schubert and Massenet. 
A highlight of the program is the New York premiere of Letter to Warsaw by contemporary American composer Thomas Pasatieri, text by Holocaust poet Pola Braun.

Katherine Whyte, soprano:
Letter to Warsaw by Thomas Pasatieri,
text by Pola Braun (New York premiere)

     The series contains seven American premieres and ten first recordings. The concerts encompass 900 years of Jewish classical song, from the 12th century to the present.
     In addition to Ms. Resnik, the performers are: Roslyn Jhunever Barak, Katherine Whyte and Darynn Zimmer, sopranos; Audrey Babcock, mezzo-soprano; Mr. Davis and Alex Richardson, tenors; Charles Robert Stephens, baritone; Vlad Iftinca and Miloš Repický, piano; Annaliesa Place, violin; and David Leisner, guitar.
     Edward Cardona, president of Video Artists International, said, “Regina Resnik Presents Colors of the Diaspora is a unique combination of great and unusual music, stunning visuals and powerful history–all made accessible through the mellifluous narration of Regina Resnik. In our twenty-five-year history, we have never produced anything like it.”
      “We feel we have left behind an historic document for posterity,” said Ms. Resnik.

"significant first performances and first recordings" 

"... would enhance…any cultural history course, musical or nonmusical."
"exquisite vocal performances" 

"filled with emotional intensity"

"commentary given so eloquently by Regina Resnik"

-- American Record Guide, Jan.-Feb. 2012

"…a universal message …."
"real discoveries…are works of Jewish composers recorded for the first time."
"masterfully acted and sung by Resnik and her son Michael Philip Davis."
"Resnik's narration is so clear and lucid…."
Rating: ★★★★★
-- Musica, July 2012

"A major musical project, beautifully realized"
Rating: ★★★★★
-- posted on Amazon, November 2011

"… contemporary music performed with such taste and talent…"
"stunning performances"
"heartbreaking pieces"
"…will certainly entertain and enlighten the homes that receive it."
-- The Jewish Music Web Center

Please enjoy these excerpts from Colors of the Diaspora on YouTube:

I. From The American Jewish Composers:
John Corigliano & William M. Hoffman: A Petition to the Governor (World Premiere).
Regina Resnik, narrator; Roslyn Jhunever Barak, soprano; Michael Philip Davis, tenor;
Charles Robert Stephens, baritone; Vlad Iftinca, piano

II. From The American Jewish Composers:
Seymour Barab: "Thirst," from Jewish Music from Oy to Vey (World Premiere).
Regina Resnik, Michael Philip Davis; Vlad Iftinca, piano

III. From Covert or Convert:
“Noches, Noches,” Traditional Sephardic, arr. Richard Neumann
Regina Resnik, narrator; Darynn Zimmer, soprano; David Leisner, guitar

IV. From Crossing All Boundaries:
Dmitri Shostakovich: “Shastye” (“Happiness”), From Jewish Folk Poetry
Katherine Whyte, soprano; Audrey Babcock, mezzo-soprano; Alex Richardson, tenor;
Miloš Repický, piano

Photo credits:
Diaspora: Roberto Chiummo, Video Artist International
Covert or Convert cast: David Rodgers
Thirst, Jeremiah, Letter to Warsaw: CUNY TV
Jeremiah, Letter to Warsaw montages by Sylvester P. Lukasiewicz