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The Emperor of Atlantis

The Emperor of Atlantis

or Death's Refusal

One-act play by Peter Kien


  • Edition: vocal/piano score
  • Language: German - English
  • Order No.: ED 8197
€43.00  *
Incl. VAT and excl. shipping Weight: 0.4 kg

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Description
In September 1942 Viktor Ullmann was interned in the concentration camp of Theresienstadt where he composed the opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis [The Emperor of Atlantis] on a libretto of Peter Kien, a fellow prisoner, in 1943. This opera was rehearsed by a chamber ensemble founded with the permission of the SS, but its first performance was prohibited after the final rehearsal. The autograph of the score only survived because shortly before his deportation to Auschwitz in 1944, Ullmann handed it, together with the libretto, to a friend who was able to save both manuscripts at the end of the war.

The opera is a parable of a cruel emperor, whose senseless war is claiming many lives. Death puts an end to the chaos by refusing his duty - now, everyone lives for eternity. The king becomes disempowered, but the people long for a release from the pain of life. Only the voluntary death of the emperor can restore death's original purpose.

The libretto is a vigorous take on the Third Reich and more particularly the concentration camp of Theresienstadt through the means of a mystery play. The music, with its numerous references to jazz and then current light music, sometimes by direct quotation, puts the composer in the role of political commentator, following the tradition of topical opera in the 1920's.
Details
Binding: Paperback/Soft Cover
Difficulty: advanced
ISMN: 979-0-001-08390-4
Opus: op. 49b
Performance duration: 60'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : Mit den Proben für die Uraufführung in Theresienstadt wurde wahrscheinlich im März 1944 begonnen. Zu einer Aufführung kam es jedoch nicht.
Im Anhang der quellenkritischen Neuausgabe (Klavierauszug und Aufführungsmaterial) sind spielfähige Varianten der letzten Überarbeitung veröffentlicht.
Uraufführung der quellenkritischen Neuausgabe: 22. April 1992 Saarbrücken, Alte Feuerwache · Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken · Dirigent: Mark Pinzow · Regie: Anette Leistenschneider · Ausstattung: Sabine Mann
Year of composition: 1943
instrumentation: 1 (auch Picc.) · 1 · 1 · Alt-Sax. · 0 - 0 · 1 · 0 · 0 - S. (Trgl. · hg. Beck. · gr. Tamt. · kl. Tr.) (2 Spieler) - Tenor-Banjo (auch Git.) · Cemb. (auch Klav.) · Harm. - Str. (1 · 1 · 1 · 1 · 1)
occupation: Kaiser Overall · Bariton - Der Lautsprecher · Bass - Ein Soldat · Tenor - Bubikopf, ein Soldat · Sopran - Harlekin · Tenor - Der Tod · Bass - Der Trommler · Alt / Mezzosopran
page number: 114
In September 1942 Viktor Ullmann was interned in the concentration camp of Theresienstadt where he composed the opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis [The Emperor of Atlantis] on a libretto of Peter Kien, a fellow prisoner, in 1943. This opera was rehearsed by a chamber ensemble founded with the permission of the SS, but its first performance was prohibited after the final rehearsal. The autograph of the score only survived because shortly before his deportation to Auschwitz in 1944, Ullmann handed it, together with the libretto, to a friend who was able to save both manuscripts at the end of the war.

The opera is a parable of a cruel emperor, whose senseless war is claiming many lives. Death puts an end to the chaos by refusing his duty - now, everyone lives for eternity. The king becomes disempowered, but the people long for a release from the pain of life. Only the voluntary death of the emperor can restore death's original purpose.

The libretto is a vigorous take on the Third Reich and more particularly the concentration camp of Theresienstadt through the means of a mystery play. The music, with its numerous references to jazz and then current light music, sometimes by direct quotation, puts the composer in the role of political commentator, following the tradition of topical opera in the 1920's.
Binding: Paperback/Soft Cover
Difficulty: advanced
ISMN: 979-0-001-08390-4
Opus: op. 49b
Performance duration: 60'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : Mit den Proben für die Uraufführung in Theresienstadt wurde wahrscheinlich im März 1944 begonnen. Zu einer Aufführung kam es jedoch nicht.
Im Anhang der quellenkritischen Neuausgabe (Klavierauszug und Aufführungsmaterial) sind spielfähige Varianten der letzten Überarbeitung veröffentlicht.
Uraufführung der quellenkritischen Neuausgabe: 22. April 1992 Saarbrücken, Alte Feuerwache · Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken · Dirigent: Mark Pinzow · Regie: Anette Leistenschneider · Ausstattung: Sabine Mann
Year of composition: 1943
instrumentation: 1 (auch Picc.) · 1 · 1 · Alt-Sax. · 0 - 0 · 1 · 0 · 0 - S. (Trgl. · hg. Beck. · gr. Tamt. · kl. Tr.) (2 Spieler) - Tenor-Banjo (auch Git.) · Cemb. (auch Klav.) · Harm. - Str. (1 · 1 · 1 · 1 · 1)
occupation: Kaiser Overall · Bariton - Der Lautsprecher · Bass - Ein Soldat · Tenor - Bubikopf, ein Soldat · Sopran - Harlekin · Tenor - Der Tod · Bass - Der Trommler · Alt / Mezzosopran
page number: 114
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