Preview three of 16 album tracks:

Thieves of Dreams: Songs of Theresienstadt's Secret Poetess


This project is about women. Creative, strong, oppressed in their time and breaking social taboos. My maternal grandmother Anna Hana Friesova was an accomplished artist both with a pen and a brush, and nobody paid attention. Only when my mother recently passed, I discovered two worn notebooks among her possessions: poems written by Anna Hana in the 1930s and during her two-and-a-half-year incarceration in the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp during WW2. I was stunned by the intensity of her words, the erudite vocabulary, the raw and often disturbing honesty. I find her words just as poignant today as they were eighty years ago. 

video of Cekame kdesi, composed by Shy-Anne Hovorka

Thanks to generous Canada Council for the Arts and  Ontario Arts Council grants, I have been able to commission other women composers to help me create musical settings for Anna Hana's poems, in order to bring about multiple voices and perspectives. Each of us brings our own history and musical sensibilities into the project.

ALBUM Thieves of Dreams - description:

Thieves of Dreams: Songs of Theresienstadt’s Secret Poetess

Texts: written by Anna Hana Friesová while she was in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War 2. The poems, mostly about love, relationships and dreams of far-away places, range from the hopeful (“In the bleakest, darkest night, remember the sun”) to the visceral ("With the last tear, the final darkness tumbled down And God couldn’t see our faces. The end fell into our eyes like a stone onto a mirror,”).  Lenka brings these unearthed treasures to life, weaving the powerful poems into a stunning musical and spoken word performance.

Album information:

16 tracks; 8 songs composed by Lenka, 8 songs commissioned from Czech and Canadian composers Milli Janatkova, Zita Petrak, Rachel Cohen, Jessica Deutsch, Lorie Wolf and Shy-Anne Hovorka.

Arrangements feature 19 recording artists from Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Recorded and produced by Lenka Lichtenberg at her Melody Meadows studio.

Mixed and mastered by Jim Zolis.

Total time: 57 minutes.

RELEASE: May 6, 2022. Digital distribution: 6 Degrees, Supraphon in the Czech Republic

Album release concert:   Paradise Theatre, Toronto, May 8, 2022, 2:30 pm

TICKETS for Concert here

Lenka gratefully acknowledges grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council that enabled this project.


NB: Thieves of Dreams will exist in multiple art forms.

  1. - an album with 16 tracks, as described above. This music is offered as a concert, both in English and Czech.
  2. - a second disc to complement the first, with the poems in English translations - in total,  12 compositions and spoken word pieces. The Czech and English discs will be released as a deluxe box set.
  3. - a multi-media stage production, live/virtual
  4. - poetry book in Czech and English, featuring illustrations by Milli Janatkova and my grandmother's original ink drawings
  5. -  a film of the show, as filmed at Melody Meadows Farm.
  6. - a shorter, concert version of the stage production.