Cantus & Theater Latte Da - All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914by Brian Newhouse, Minnesota Public Radio
Imagine putting your rifle down, climbing out of the safety of your trench, and walking across No Man's Land to deliver the gift of song -- to your enemy. Minneapolis-based men's choir, Cantus, and Theater Latte Da perform a new radio drama based on the Christmas truce of 1914.
St. Paul, Minn. — "All Is Calm" was created by playwright Peter Rothstein, based almost entirely on letters written by soldiers who served in World War I.
These moving words, written in the muddy trenches of France and Belgium, tell of the everyday hopes and struggles of the soldiers. The enemies were often so closely entrenched that they could hear the other side sing songs at night.
These letters tell of an extraordinary event that took place on Christmas, 1914, the first year of the war. Spontaneously, one group of German soldiers put down its weapons, came out of the trench, and made the harrowing walk across No Man's Land to greet the Allied soldiers on the other side.
For a few minutes on that Christmas Eve, sworn enemies traded little presents and tokens, but mostly gave the gift of their own voices singing songs from their native lands.
Cantus and Theater Latte Da perform the newly commissioned radio drama on Dec. 21, and the performance will be aired live on the network stations of Classical Minnesota Public Radio from 10:30 a.m. - Noon.
- All Things Considered, 12/20/2007, 5:55 p.m.