Jan. 25, 26 Feb.2 / 2014 Ullmann: Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis)September 13, 2013 No Comments
Fully staged opera production with the CT Virtuosi Orchestra
Saturday, Jan 25, 7:30 / Trinity-On-Main Arts Center / New Britain, CT
Sunday, Jan. 26, 3:00 / MHS Arts Center / Middletown, CT
Saturday, Feb. 1, 7:30 / Evans Hall, Connecticut College / New London, CT
Connecticut Lyric Opera is proud to present the second production of it’s 2013-14 Season, the profoundly moving opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Kaiser of Atlantis) by the Jewish composer Viktor Ullmann who was sent to his death at Auschwitz once the subversive nature of his work was recognized by the Nazis. Kaiser will be performed throughout the state in late January and February in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.
Der Kaiser von Atlantis was created in 1943 at the Theresienstadt concentration camp, the “Artists Camp” that was used to deceive the Red Cross and the world to show how well the Jews were living under the “benevolent” protection of the Third Reich. Poets, artists, composers, playwrights, philosophers, business people, families all lived here, for a while… There was an orchestra, various instrumental ensembles, a theatre company and an opera company – there were also torture chambers, tens of thousands of people died from disease or starvation (mostly), and above all, it was a transit camp from which more than 100,000 souls were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz, Treblinka and elsewhere. SS officers attended a final rehearsal of Kaiser in September 1944 and became outraged by what they saw. They shut down the production and shipped composer Viktor Ullmann, librettist Peter Kien, the entire cast, orchestra, and all their families to Auschwitz for immediate liquidation. Only the composition and several of the singers survived.
As the opera opens, the characters Harlequin and Death are reflecting on the sorry state of the world when the Drummer-girl arrives with a proclamation from Kaiser Überall declaring total and universal war, pitting everyone against everyone else. Death is outraged and refuses to cooperate. The Kaiser, who conducts the war through a microphone from his empty palace, learns that despite all the fighting, no one is dying. Hospitals are full of wounded patients who are unable to die. Prisoners are hanged, but remain alive. A soldier and a girl named Bubikopf from the enemy side meet on the battlefield and, unable to kill each other, fall in love. The Kaiser is appalled. Finally, Death agrees to relieve the human race of its endless pain by going back to work – on condition that the Kaiser be his first victim.
This fully staged original production, directed by the insightful young director Chris Browner and conducted by Maestro Adrian Sylveen, will feature a cast of seven outstanding singers and an eclectic ensemble from the CT Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. Sung in German with English surtitles. The production opens on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 PM at Trinity-on-Main Performing Arts center in New Britain, continues the following day, Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 PM at the MHS Arts Center in Middletown, and concludes on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 PM at Evans Hall, Connecticut College in New London. As always, this opera is a co-production with the CT Virtuosi.
For tickets, please visit: http://thevirtuosi.ticketleap.com/kaiser/ or call The Virtuosi Box Office at (860) 325-2826. For more information, please visit CLO’s website at http://CtLyricOpera.org or call 860-415-6441.News