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Curtis Institute of Music

Recorded Sound | RG Number: RG-91.2199

Kerry Woodward's Remarks at Curtis Institute of Music on November 18, 1989. On this occasion, the Opera Department presented (in studio IIJ) Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser in Atlantis [The Emperor in Atlantis]. This work was composed in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the war.

Music by Viktor Ullmann
Libretto by Peter Kien
English translation by Aaron Kramer
Edition and Piano Reduction by Kerry Woodward

The Emperor of Atlantis Synopsis
1 . In a world where love and wine have been replaced by wickedness and blood, Pierrot is no longer able to make people laugh. He begs Death to rescue him from the boredom and despair of life. Death refuses, and in turn complains about the new times: his splendid old pageantry has been superseded by tanks. Overall, the Emperor of Atlantis, proclaims universal war. He patronizingly refers to the great past of his "old ally" Death as compared with his own great future. Death retaliates: henceforth no one shall die.

2. From various locations — a besieged city, a place of execution and a hospital — news reaches the Emperor that no one is able to die. Realizing that his own position is in jeopardy, and determined to keep his subjects' loyalty, he publicly misrepresents Death's rebellion. The Emperor describes it
as his gift of eternal life for his deserving subjects.

3. The Emperor's authority is disintegrating. A soldier and a girl, belonging to enemy camps, accidentally meet. The ...

Recorded:  1989 November 18
Record last modified: 2021-06-16 16:29:30
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