Wiener Konzerthaus

Ballett: KaiserRequiem

Volksoper Vienna exterior view, the facade is painted with the lettering Volksoper in blue color
© Barbara Pálffy / Volksoper Wien
Volksoper Vienna exterior view, the facade is painted with the lettering Volksoper in blue color

In German and Latin language with German and English surtitles

Stage direction and choreography: Andreas Heise
Stage design and costumes: Sascha Thomsen
Musical direction: Omer Meir Wellber

Premiere: January 25, 2025

Emperor Overall is the tyrannical ruler of Atlantis. When he finally declares a war between everyone and everyone else, Death decides to go on strike. In an act of populist demagogy, the Emperor claims the credit for delivering immortality. But with no one dying, the country descends into chaos. The Emperor is forced to accept that his power has been broken.   

Confronted directly with persecution and extermination by the Nazis, Viktor Ullmann composed Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis) in Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943/44: a harrowing allegory critiquing inhuman warmongering and totalitarian power structures. In October 1944 – along with his co-librettist Peter Kien – he was deported on the so-called "Künstlertransport" to Auschwitz, where Ullmann was gassed to death and Kien died of an infection. Shifting between a contemporary opera, a mystery play and a dance of death, Der Kaiser von Atlantis presents a unique theatrical sound world. 

For the premiere KaiserRequiem, the conductor Omer Meir Wellber has defied convention to interweave Ullmann’s sixty-minute chamber opera with possibly the most famous torso in the history of music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musical legacy, his Requiem in D minor KV 626 – composed in the face of death in 1791 and interrupted by death. KaiserRequiem is a dialogue between these two works about the great questions of human existence. However, KaiserRequiem is also a collaborative work by all sections of the theatre: the dancers of the Vienna State Ballet as well as the soloists and the chorus and orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper, directed and choreographed by Andreas Heise.

Venue

Vienna Volksoper

Währinger Straße 78
1090 Wien

Tickets & Info

Current Dates

  • Thu. 23 Jan 2025, 11 a.m.
  • Sat. 25 Jan 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Mon. 27 Jan 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Sun. 02 Feb 2025, 5 p.m.
  • Wed. 05 Feb 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 08 Feb 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Wed. 19 Feb 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Wed. 26 Feb 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Mon. 03 Mar 2025, 7 p.m.
  • Wed. 05 Mar 2025, 7 p.m.