Der Kaiser von Atlantis
Written by composer Viktor Ullmann and librettist Peter Kien while they were living in the Theresienstadt Ghetto in World War II, Der Kaiser von Atlantis Oder Die Tod - Verweigerung is a parable of an authoritarian leader whose megalomania is fed by his thirst for war. His obsessive plans for destruction and human annihilation are undermined by death, whose refusal to reap souls causes the Kaiser’s downfall. Denied its premiere at Theresienstadt by the SS, Der Kaiser von Atlantis was written as an opera, mixing fairy tales, commedia dell’arte, and cabaret to create a biting satire of unchecked power. Although Ullmann and Kien were killed at Auschwitz, their creation proves that even under unimaginable conditions, we can find comfort in embracing the essentials of our humanity: art, music, laughter, and our shared mortality.
-Pat Diamond, Stage Director
Unlike any other production of Der Kaiser, the Shepherd School used a green screen and a process known as Chromadepth. In order to capture the bleak and unforgiving nature of the environment, a simple and straightforward color palette was ideal. Developed with bold primary colors, which produces a stereoscopic effect, the Chromadepth production can be viewed through simple prism 3D glasses. No additional technology is required; the strategic use of color is sufficient. Audience members are able to watch and enjoy this dynamic production of Der Kaiser without the glasses.