Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | February 14, 2010

The Emperor of Atlantis

When I started this blog opera was a theme that popped up quite frequently. It’s been on the back burner for a year or so, partly fuelled (note burner analogy running like wildfire through this piece) by circumstances preventing me from seeing a single production last year (“What a tragedy!” I can hear you saying with heart-felt sympathy).

This lack of a post on opera for a long time must be corrected, and circumstances have provided the opportunity. The artist Angela Lemaire, daughter of Douglas Lyne (see a few posts down) has sent me a scan of a woodcut inspired by an opera which I had never heard of: The Emperor of Atlantis. Here it is:

'Death, Harlequin and the Drummer Girl' Woodcut by Angela Lemaire

Angela writes: “The picture was inspired by the opera composed in 1941 in a transit camp, entitled The Emperor of Atlantis.  They had rehearsals but eventually the composers and musicians perished in Auschwitz.  This is an extraordinary story.  The figures are characters in the opera. Though Doug I don’t think ever saw this image, I’m sure he would have been interested – especially about the opera and its tragic story.”


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