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The Emperor of Atlantis

Date:
Categories: Experimental, Family, New Work, Opera
Tags: Bold Tendencies, Chroma, Polly Graham

Saturday, September 15, 2018 – Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 7:30pm, Peckham (London) Multi-Storey Car Park

Atlantis-Skyline

Bold Tendencies with Polly Graham, and her recently formed company, Loud Crowd,

are bringing a new opera programme to Peckham, beginning in 2018 with Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis, an opera about the need for humans to respect death. The megalomaniac Emperor has declared a war that will only end when there are no survivors left. Death, an old tramp, is outraged that a mortal should try to steal his job and goes on strike. The war begins but panic sets in as no one can die. The Living Dead walk the earth. The Emperor’s power weakens. He submits to the greater power of Death, and dies. Originally written in the concentration camp at Terezin in 1943 as a satire of the Nazi regime, this project proposes to re-read the piece as a prophecy for our time, presenting it within the context of current political debates about nuclear warfare, the migration crisis, climate change and the value of life in relation to power, always with a flavour of satire and clowning. The sound world of the opera is cartoonish and accessible, its collage style mixes jazz with chamber music and cabaret.

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