By Viktor Ullmann
Jordan Rodu, music director
Brittany Duncan & Jordan Rodu, stage directors
Friday, January 25, 2008, at 8:00 PM
Margaret Jewett Hall , First Church in Cambridge
11 Garden Street, Cambridge
Pre-performance lecture at 7:00 PM
Saturday, January 26, 2008, at 3:00 PM
Downstairs Meeting Room
Brookline Public Library - Coolidge Corner Branch
31 Pleasant Street, Brookline
Pre-performance lecture at 2:00 PM
Pre-performance lectures will be given by James O'Leary, Ph.D. candidate in musicology, Yale University.
From the darkness of a World War II concentration camp, a thought-provoking -- and ultimately hopeful -- look at life, love and death.
Der Kaiser von Atlantis was written by Austrian composer Viktor Ullmann in 1943. Ullmann and Peter Kien, the opera's librettist, were among the artists and musicians interned at Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Terezin (now part of the Czech Republic). Written for six soloists and an eclectic instrumental ensemble, the opera was rehearsed in the camp but performances were ultimately banned by camp leaders, most likely because of the story's inflammatory allegorical content. The composer, librettist and entire cast were deported to Auschwitz where many, including Ullmann and Kien, were killed. The manuscript survived and the work was premiered in Amsterdam in 1975.
Drawing on varied musical sources and employing a complex harmonic vocabulary, the opera tells the story of Kaiser Uberall, who, secluded in his palace, has called all his citizens to holy war on the enemy. Death resents Uberall's presumption of control over his domain, and decides to abolish death throughout the kingdom as retribution. The struggle of wills that ensues examines the merits of life and death -- and the importance of love.
Performance time is approximately one hour.
DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS
Loudspeaker Adrian Packel
Harlequin Spyridon Antonopolous
Death Jeramie Hammond
Drummer Lexa Ferrill
Kaiser Uberall Kyle Ferrill
Bubikopf Rebekah Alexander
Soldier Spyridon Antonopolous
Music Director Jordan Rodu
Brittany Duncan & Jordan Rodu