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The composer was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a disciple of Arnold Schoenberg and later an assistant to Zemlinsky in Prague. His career as a composer was cut short due to the tragedy of the Holocaust.  Ullmann's Jewish heritage made him a prisoner of Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942. This was a place where many artists were held before being murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. While Ullmann was in the concentration camp, he composed The Emperor of Atlantis or The Disobedience of Death (1943), a work with echoes of Weill, Hindemith and Viennese Expressionism. The plot is a grotesque portrait of a tyrant in which many saw a caricature of the Nazi dictator. The protagonist forces humanity to indulge in a massacre but Death prevents the injured from dying. The piece was praised as "the abdication of death when faced with the universal horrors of life". As a result, the première at the camp was forbidden. With his sardonic sense of humor, stage director Gustavo Tambascio draws out the harsh and acrid meaning from this macabre satire.



El canto de amor y muerte del corneta Christoph Rilke
12 fragmentos del poema de Rainer Maria Rilke para narrador y orquesta (1944)
Música de Viktor Ullmann
Texto de Rainer Maria Rilke
Versión española de Jesús Munárriz
Reconstrucción de Henning Brauel

Narradora: Blanca Portillo

Estreno​ en España
Adagio in memoriam Ana Frank
basada en un movimiento de la Sonata para piano nº7 de Viktor Ullmann (1944/2015) 
Música de Viktor Ullmann​ y Pedro Halffter​. Orquestación de Pedro Halffter

Estreno​ absoluto​
Pequeña obertura para 'El emperador de la Atlántida'
basada en un movimiento de la Sonata para piano nº7 de Viktor Ullmann (1944/2015) 
Música de Viktor Ullmann​ y Pedro Halffter​. Orquestación de Pedro Halffter

Estreno​ absoluto​

EL EMPERADOR DE LA ATLÁNTIDA, op. 49 (1943/2015)
Música de Viktor Ullmann. Revisión y orquestación de Pedro Halffter.
Ópera en un acto y cuatro escenas
Libreto de Peter Kien
Reconstrucción de Henning Brauel

Estrenada en el Bellevue Theatre de Ámsterdam, el 16 de diciembre de 1975

Estreno absoluto de la nueva versión en el Teatro Real

Nueva coproducción del Teatro Real, el Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla y Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía de Valencia

Orquesta Titular del Teatro Real

Approximate running time

1 hour and 30 minutes, no intermission
Prologue: 35 minutes
Opera: 55 minutes

Production Team & Cast

  • Musical director: Pedro Halffter
  • Stage director: Gustavo Tambascio
  • Set designer: Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda
  • Costume designer: Jesús Ruiz
  • Lighting designer: Felipe Ramos
· - ·
  • Emperor Overall: Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester
  • Loudspeaker: Martin Winkler
  • Death: Torben Jürgens
  • Pierrot: Roger Padullés
  • A soldier: Albert Casals
  • A maiden: Sonia de Munck (Jun. 10, 12)
    Ruth Iniesta (Jun. 14, 16, 18)
  • Drummer girl: Ana Ibarra

Performance Dates

  • 10 JUN (F) 22:00h
  • 12 JUN (S) 20:00h
  • 14 JUN (T) 22:00h
  • 16 JUN (T) 22:00h
  • 18 JUN (S) 22:00h
  • Place: Main Auditorium

Programme of show

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