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CREATION

Zu Unseren Schwestern, Zu Unseren Brüdern

[To our Sisters, to our Brothers]

20 January 2022

 

En vertu de... // Der Kaiser Von Atlantis

 

Premiere on 20 January 2022 at the Studio of the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg

Additional performances on 21 & 22 January 2022

EN VERTU DE...


Constructed as a collage of different articles from European treaties, such as the European Constitution or the European Convention on Human Rights, the text of En vertu de... takes the form of a speech delivered with a political touch. Far from being a classic libretto or narration, it adopts a deliberately juridical tone and comes across as a reflection on the primary meaning of a community of different cultures, at once unified and disparate. The non-linear dramaturgy, the theme of the selected articles, the assemblage and different processes involved, such as playing around with repetition: all these things are meant to signify a mise en abyme of the fragility of the European project, at a time when we are seeing a worrying rise extremisms in Europe. Since it is only the English and French versions of the European Convention on Human Rights that are authentic and authoritative, those two idioms used in En vertu de... are, as it were, infested by interjections in other languages. The relationship between the first and the second parts of the evening’s performance emanates from the opposition, the tension and the resonance involved. Juxtaposed with the highly poetic nature of Peter Kien’s libretto is a sort of oh-so-meaningful coldness characterising the constitutional articles – a completely novel feature in an opera libretto.


DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS


Following a prologue during which the Loudspeaker introduces the different characters Harlequin, Death, The Drummer, The Emperor Overall, The Maiden and The Soldier, the story unfolds in four successive scenes: following The Emperor’s declaration of war pitting everyone against each other, Death decides to stop working and as a result, no one is dying. In the end, different episodes working as allegories lead to the conclusion. Death offers to resume his duties, but on  condition that the Emperor is the first to die. Overall agrees, thus leading to a redeeming resolution. A multifaceted and at the same time condensed reflection of a suppressed society living under a dictatorship, the story told in the opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis appears somehow like a mirror of life itself in Theresienstadt and of the totalitarian hold of the Third Reich. The end of oppression, the absurdity of war, the death penalty, the freedom and the freedom of expression, the profound meaning of a republic are some of the many themes that are permeating the story. They will build, right after the Second World War, the foundation of the European Union and of its first treaties, among which the European  Convention on Human Rights, signed in 1950, constitutes a milestone.

 

Like a temporal ellipse, once in our diptych Der Kaiser von Atlantis finishes and the urgency of democracy shines through, En vertu de… could begin again, but signals also in its final words, how extremely fragile the upholding of human rights is.

 

 

Distribution

 

Zu Unseren Schwestern, Zu Unseren Brüdern

Diptych

 

 

En Vertu De... // New work

Adaptation Of The European Convention On Human Rights

Premiere in January 2022 in Luxembourg

 

Composition  Eugene Birman

Libretto, Concept & Staging    Stéphane Ghislain Roussel

Musical Direction  Corinna Niemeyer

Dramaturgy  Sandra Pocceschi

Scenography & Costume Design  Peggy Wurth

Assistant Director  Daliah Kentges

 

Soloist  Michel De Souza

Soloists Of L’orchestre De Chambre Du Luxembourg

 

 

Der Kaiser Von Atlantis // One-act chamber opera

Premiere on 16 December 1975 in Amsterdam

 

Music Viktor Ullmann

Libretto Viktor Ullmann & Peter Kien

 

Concept & Staging  Stéphane Ghislain Roussel

Musical Direction  Corinna Niemeyer

Dramaturgy  Sandra Pocceschi

Scenography & Costume Design  Peggy Wurth

Lighting Design  Renaud Ceulemans

Assistant Director  Daliah Kentges

Orchestra  Orchestre De Chambre Du Luxembourg

 

The Emperor Overall  Michel De Souza

The Loudspeaker  Nn

The Maiden  Margaux De Valensart

A Soldier  Nn

Death  Nn

Harlequin  Benjamin Alunni

The Drummer  Raphaële Green

Cast In Progress

 

Co-production

 

Production  Les Théâtres De La Ville De Luxembourg

 

Co-Production  In Progress

 

enoa Lab in May 2021 at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo

 

Distribution

 

Zu Unseren Schwestern, Zu Unseren Brüdern

Diptych

 

 

En Vertu De... // New work

Adaptation Of The European Convention On Human Rights

Premiere in January 2022 in Luxembourg

 

Composition  Eugene Birman

Libretto, Concept & Staging    Stéphane Ghislain Roussel

Musical Direction  Corinna Niemeyer

Dramaturgy  Sandra Pocceschi

Scenography & Costume Design  Peggy Wurth

Assistant Director  Daliah Kentges

 

Soloist  Michel De Souza

Soloists Of L’orchestre De Chambre Du Luxembourg

 

 

Der Kaiser Von Atlantis // One-act chamber opera

Premiere on 16 December 1975 in Amsterdam

 

Music Viktor Ullmann

Libretto Viktor Ullmann & Peter Kien

 

Concept & Staging  Stéphane Ghislain Roussel

Musical Direction  Corinna Niemeyer

Dramaturgy  Sandra Pocceschi

Scenography & Costume Design  Peggy Wurth

Lighting Design  Renaud Ceulemans

Assistant Director  Daliah Kentges

Orchestra  Orchestre De Chambre Du Luxembourg

 

The Emperor Overall  Michel De Souza

The Loudspeaker  Nn

The Maiden  Margaux De Valensart

A Soldier  Nn

Death  Nn

Harlequin  Benjamin Alunni

The Drummer  Raphaële Green

Cast In Progress

 

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