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Der Diktator (Krenek) & Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Ullmann)

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Auditorio de Tenerife Adán MartínAv de la Constitucion, 1, 38003, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
On Saturday 14 December 2019 at 19:30
Performers
Ópera de Tenerife
Pedro HalffterConductor
Bruno TaddiaBaritoneDiktator, Emperor Overall
Mélody LouledjianSopranoCharlotte, Bubikopf
Carmen AcostaSopranoMaria
César ArrietaTenorOffizier
Laura VerrecchiaMezzo-sopranoDrummer
David AstorgaTenorHarlequin, Soldier
Nicolò DoniniBassLoudspeaker
Francisco CrespoBassDeath
Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife

This double programme includes two operas by Austrian composers of the first half of the 20th century who through sarcasm, deal with the issue of totalitarian power. When Krenek composed Der Diktator (The Dictator) in 1928 fascism already ruled in Italy and it would soon reach Germany. Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of the Atlantid) by Viktor Ullmann, was composed in 1943 at a concentration camp.

Der Diktator [The Dictator], Krenek

Tragic opera in one act with music and libretto in German by Ernst Krenek, premiered at Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden on 6 May 1928. This short work with a tremendous rhythm and composed in a melodic style that resembles Puccini’s, portrays the irresistible attraction of populist power, represented by a character who many thought inspired by Mussolini.

Der Kaiser von Atlantis [The Emperor of Atlantis], Ullmann

One-act opera by Austrian composer Viktor Ullmann and libretto in German by Peter Kien. It was composed while in prison at Theresienstadt concentration camp, where they were both jailed for being Jewish. The Theresienstadt camp was set up by the Nazis as a ‘model camp’ to give to the international community a milder version of the reality in the camps. This gave the great community of artists, musicians, writers, etc. in the camp a certain freedom not usually allowed by the Reich’s censorship. In fact, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, a surrealist legend of a tyrant that is leading humanity to a cruel massacre, pushing Death himself to go on strike, was composed with all the characteristics the Nazis considered as ‘degenerate music’ (atonality, jazz...). However, when the camp authorities realized the figure of Emperor Overall was a not very veiled parody of Adolf Hitler, they forbade its premiere. Ullmann was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 where he was killed at the gas chamber. The first performance of Der Kaiser von Atlantis only took place in 1975 in Amsterdam.

Spanish conductor Pedro Halffter, after leading major orchestras in the main theatres worldwide, is making his debut at Ópera de Tenerife with these two titles.

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