Overture of Hope (Hardcover)
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Overture of Hope: Two Sisters’ Daring Plan That Saved Opera’s Jewish Stars from the Third Reich (Hardcover)
by Isabel Vincent
Schindler’s List meets The Sound of Music as best-selling New York Post investigative journalist Isabel Vincent delves into pre-World War II history to recover the amazing story of two British spinsters who masterminded a plan to spirit dozens of Jewish stars and personnel of the German and Austrian opera to England and save them from a terrible fate under the Third Reich.
One a dowdy typist, the other a soon-to-be famous romance novelist, with prospects for marriage and families of their own cut down by the scythe of World War I, the Cook sisters threw themselves into their love of music, with frequent pilgrimages to Germany and Austria to see their favorite opera stars perform. But in 1937, with war clouds gathering and harassment increasing, the stars of Continental opera, many of whom were Jewish, faced dark futures under the boot heel of the Nazis.
What could two middle-aged British spinsters do about such matters? They formed a secret cabal right under Hitler’s nose. Along with Austrian conductor Clemens Krauss (a favorite of Hitler, but quietly working with the Cooks), the sisters conspired to bring together worldwide opera aficionados and insiders in an international operation to rescue Jews in the opera from the horrific fate they saw coming. By the time war arrived, the Cooks and their operatives had plucked over two dozen Jewish men and women from the looming maw of the Holocaust and spirited them to safety in England.
Packed with original research and vividly told with suspense, hope, and wonder by award-winning New York Post investigative journalist Isabel Vincent, author of nationally best-selling memoir Dinner with Edward, this singular tale reveals many new details of the seemingly naïve and oblivious Cook sisters’ surreptitious bravery, daring, and passionate commitment as the two mount a successful rescue mission that saves dozens of lives and preserves the opera they love for another generation.
“A profoundly moving history of vision, courage, love and commitment.” – Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of national bestseller Eleanor Roosevelt
“A riveting, improbable, uplifting tale, made all the more exciting because it really happened!” – Renée Fleming, 17-time Grammy Award-winning soprano
- Hardcover: 278 pages
- Publisher: Regnery History (September 13, 2022)
- Dimensions: 6” W x 1.1” D x 9” H
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