Der Kaiser von Atlantis


Viktor Ullmann
One-act opera 
Libretto by Peter Kien

Dedicated to the 80th anniversaru of the opera

Stage-director: Vadim Letunov
Conductor: Elena Sosulnikova
Set and costume designer: Rostislav Protasov
Make-up designer: Natalya Blinkova
Lighting designer: Vladislav Aleksandrov
Choreographer: Ksenia Lisanskaya

The world premiere, presented by the Netherlands Opera at the Bellevue Centre, Amsterdam, took place on 16 December 1975
Helikon-opera premiere took place on May 10, 2024 

"Der Kaiser von Atlantis" by V. Ulmann is presented for the first time in Moscow. 

Well-known Czech composer of Jewish origin and a student of Schoenberg Viktor Ullmann wrote this opera in Terezin two years before his death in the gas chamber. The story of its creation and resurrection is no less tragic than the era in which the author lived... In September 1942 Viktor Ullmann was deported to Theresienstadt - a "model camp" for Jews that the Nazis organized in the Czech fortress of Theresienstadt. During two years he spent there, the composer wrote more than 20 works, including the opera "Der Kaiser von Atlantis". According to Ullmann, this opera is about "The life, that forgot how to laugh. And about the death^ that forgot to cry in a world, that forgot how to rejoice in life and die from death." However, it appeared so satirical, that it was banned by the Nazi censorship and withdrawn after the dress rehearsal.

In October 1944, the composer and his family, as well as the librettist of "Der Kaiser von Atlantis", 25-year-old poet Peter Kien, were sent to Auschwitz and perished in the gas chamber. The composer entrusted the score of the opera to a ghetto librarian, who survived the war. It was discovered in 1975 and has been performed worldwide since then.


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