Pedro Halffter conducts Der Kaiser von Atlantis at Madrid's Teatro Real

2016-06-07

Maestro Halffter will be the musical director of The Emperor of Atlantis, or the Disobedience of Death, an opera in one act and four scenes by Viktor Ullmann, which is set to be performed at the Teatro Real of Madrid between June 10th and 18th. This composer, a disciple of Schönberg, was born to a Jewish family during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his career was cut short by the Nazi holocaust. He died in Auschwitz. Pedro Halffter himself has undertaken the revision and instrumentation of this work, the new version of which will have its absolute premiere at the Teatro Real. It is being staged as a co-production with the Teatro de la Maestranza of Seville and also the Palau de Les Arts of Valencia. Stage direction is in the hands of Gustavo Tambascio who, according to a spokesperson at the Teatro Real, “extracts the most acerbic meaning from this macabre satire about a tyrant who forces humanity to consent to a horrendous massacre”.
Also on the programme is a prologue comprised of the following works: The Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke, also by Viktor Ullman, with the actress Blanca Portillo as the narrator, and Adagio in memoriam de Ana Frank and Pequeña obertura para El emperador de la Atlántida, by Pedro Halffter, both based on a movement from Piano Sonata no. 7 by Ullmann.