The Emperor of Atlantis / 2008
closed on 11 February 2009, after 5 consecutive nights of sold out performances.
Co-presented with the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, this was the British Columbia premiere of a unique and deeply moving chamber opera by Viktor Ullmann and Petr Kien.
While its score survived, its creators did not. The Nazis shipped its entire company off to Auschwitz. Only its art remained.
The opera speaks both to transformation and recurrence. It speaks from the nadir of the 20th century to the continued violence and despair of the 21st. Ullmann and Kien, together with their colleagues at Thereisenstadt, created a masterwork.
This City Opera Vancouver production of The Emperor of Atlantis starred Andrew Greenwood in the title role, John Minágro as Death, and Robyn Dreidger Klassen, Megan Morrison, William George, Stephen Aberle and Sam Chung. A brilliant professional orchestra was contracted by James Littleford. We thank both the Vancouver Musicians’ Association and Canadian Actors’ Equity for making all of this possible.
Musical direction was by City Opera’s artistic director Dr Charles Barber, with stage direction by Peter Jorgensen, stage and costume design by Marti Wright, and lighting design by Adrian Muir. The opening Prologue, recounting the unique historical and musical context of this masterpiece, was given by Dr Jaap Hamburger.
Janet Lea was producer and Nora Kelly the associate producer. The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Steven Point, spoke at the opening performance on Sunday February 1, 2009.