Magazine article Opera Canada

Der Kaiser Von Atlantis: John Avey in the Title Role of the Edmonton Opera Production

Magazine article Opera Canada

Der Kaiser Von Atlantis: John Avey in the Title Role of the Edmonton Opera Production

Article excerpt

Edmonton Opera continues its "season on the edge" with the Western Canadian premiere of Viktor Ullmann's 1944 opera, Der Kaiser von Atlantis. It written at Theresienstadt concentration camp, right before Ullmann and librettist Peter Kien were sent to Auschwitz. Smuggled out and preserved, the work was first staged in 1975.

The company did itself proud with this 55-minute allegorical "witness" to the darkest moments of the last century. Told in the manner of a vaudeville or cabaret, the cast of seven includes Harlequin (Brian Downen), the Drummer Girl/War (Marianne Bendig), Loudspeaker (Uwe Dambruch), Death (Thomas Goerz) and the Emperor (John Avey). The mise-en-scene and music share the theatrical world of Lulu's opening scene and Kurt Weill's works in their mocking exuberance and sardonic zest.

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The production was superb, colorfully and imaginatively realized by artistic director Brian Deedrick and conductor Peter Dala, who led a crackerjack group of 15 musicians who were not identified.

The whole production was splendidly sung, with Goerz and Avey especially satisfying, and Bindig pert and playful. …

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