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King Matt the First (Opera by Mikhail Bronner)

This series of drawings comes from an illustrated companion to composer Mikhail Bronner's opera based on the biography and work of Janusz Korczak. Korczak was a Polish-Jewish children's author and teacher. His most famous work is King Matt the First. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Korczak was teaching at a Jewish orphanage. In 1942 the entire orphanage was deported to a death camp. Korczak was offered the chance to escape but chose to go with the children to comfort them in their last moments. The story of the opera takes place in the train carriage on the way to the death camp. To calm the children, Korczak recounts his tale of King Matiush. The story discusses how difficult it is to be a king and retain humanity.

A video presentation is available here: