South Pole

This listing is in the past
NationaltheaterMunich, Bavaria, Germany
January 18, 21, 23 at 19:30
Bavarian State Opera
Kirill PetrenkoConductor
Hans NeuenfelsDirector
Katrin ConnanSet Designer
Andrea Schmidt-FuttererCostume Designer
John DaszakTenorRobert Scott
Tara ErraughtMezzo-sopranoKathleen Scott
Thomas HampsonBaritoneRoald Amundsen
Mojca ErdmannSopranoLandlady
Dean PowerTenorLawrence Oates
Kevin ConnersTenorEdward "Uncle Bill" Wilson
Matthew GrillsTenorEdgar Evans
John CarpenterBaritoneOscar Wisting
Christian RiegerBassHelmer Hanssen
Joshua Owen MillsTenorHenry "Birdie" Bowers
Tim KuypersBassHjalmar Johansen
Sean Michael PlumbBaritoneOlav Bjaaland
Bayerisches Staatsorchester

In 1910 two competing teams set out on an expedition to the Antarctic: A band of British explorers, led by Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen's Norwegian party went head to head in a race to be the first humans to reach the South Pole. Amundsen arrived at his destination one month before Scott; Scott and his four companions lost their lives in a snowstorm on the return journey. The news of Amundsen's success was shortly followed by that of Scott's heroic failure. It was Scott whose name became the stuff of tragic legend. 

The opera by Miroslav Srnka and Tom Holloway reads between the lines of the official reports and imagines what was going through the minds of the men during this long winter: the emotions this solitude in a world of ice evoked; how collaboration can lead to rivalry and tension; how conflict involving national pathos and everyday tasks can result in comical situations; to what extent the men thought about the wives they had left behind. Ultimately, the South Pole is just a white speck in the middle of a white landscape. The attraction of reaching this point seems utterly abstract; l'art pour l'art of achieving the impossible.

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